SpaceX is sending two space tourists around the Moon in 2018


Becky

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Elon Musk announced today that SpaceX will be sending two space tourists around the Moon, and they'll be doing it next year. There is no news on who the two individuals are, but apparently they have already paid their (substantial) deposits. The journey will be aboard the Dragon 2 capsule, which will be launched via SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket - currently both capsule and rocket are untested.

Only 24 people have been around the moon (of those, 12 have walked on the surface) so these tourists will be joining a very elite club. I wonder who they are!

http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/...rewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year
 
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Urmas

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... currently both capsule and rocket are untested.

Real men test in production.


Wile-E-Coyote-clever-rocket-plan.jpg
 

Becky

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:lol:

It does raise a lot of issues though - should these experiences only be available to the super rich? Of course there are wider factors to consider - it may be the super rich now, but they are making an investment in technology that could mean space tourism becomes a lot cheaper in future.

There are many that would argue that this kind of stuff should only be done by governments, but I have to say I fully support the commercial stuff too. There are upsides (efficiency, technological advancement, faster pace) and downsides (you can buy access), but overall I think as long as it is handled responsibly then I don't see a problem.
 

Urmas

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Of course there are wider factors to consider - it may be the super rich now, but they are making an investment in technology that could mean space tourism becomes a lot cheaper in future.

Some figures (Source: Wikipedia, so...):

At a NASA news conference on 18 May 2012, SpaceX confirmed again that their target launch price for crewed Dragon flights is $160,000,000, or $20,000,000 per seat if the maximum crew of 7 is aboard, and if NASA orders at least four DragonRider flights per year.

Now... the designated launch vehicle for flights to ISS is Falcon 9, and (again, according to Wikipedia) the cost per lauch is $62M. $30M more for Falcon Heavy... plus a couple of extra bottles of gin needed for a longer flight, oh, some vittles too. and let's throw in some in-flight entertainment... adjust a bit for inflation, a bit better sales margin than with that cheapskatin' NASA... um... $200,000,000?

5% discount for loyalty card holders. :p
 

Becky

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Bargain ;)

Let's not also forget that this is a money making exercise, so there will be a nice profit element built in. Won't it be amazing if/when SpaceX achieve Elon Musk's aim to make a trip to Mars cost the same as buying a house?!
 

Urmas

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Won't it be amazing if/when SpaceX achieve Elon Musk's aim to make a trip to Mars cost the same as buying a house?!

The ways are many, said the granny and wiped the table with a cat.
(Finnish proverb)

real-house-prices-75-16.png


:lol:
 
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Becky

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In the UK we have a phrase - "There's more than one way to skin a cat", which I guess means the same thing. Starting to feel quite sorry for cats!
 

Ian

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I can't wait to see the footage of this - I'm sure they'll have some cracking video taken along the way.

Strange to think that a private company that was only recently founded can do this, given the enormous effort required. Although it may seem like a huge waste of money, I'm sure we won't regret space exploration in 1000 years time.
 
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Urmas

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Although it may seem like a huge waste of money, I'm sure we won't regret space exploration in 1000 years time.

That is absolutely true. Just that "the tourism angle" WAS and is a bit alien (gimmicky, repulsive...) to me.

I know, I know... :blush: and yet:


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