Following after SpaceX's bold revelation about their private moon flight which has been set to take place next year, NASA has recently commended its industry partners for going the extra mile and reaching higher. NASA authorities have revealed that the move drew a commendation from the American space agency along with a clear reminder that the agency is also expecting SpaceX to meet its other obligations while pursuing the moon. Prior to this major revelation, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has previously said that the company will launch two paying passengers around the moon using the company's Dragon crew capsule and massive Falcon Heavy rocket.
NASA's Stand On SpaceX's Moon Venture
In one of their statements reported by NASA, a spokesperson from the American space agency has revealed that they will be working closely with SpaceX in order to ensure that the company would safely meet the contractual obligations to return the launch of astronauts to U.S. soil, and as well as continue to successfully deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Additionally, for more than a decade now, NASA authorities have explained that the space agency has already invested in private industry to develop capabilities for the American people and seed commercial innovation to advance humanity's future in space. Furthermore, it was found that NASA is allegedly changing its way of doing business through its commercial partnerships to help build a strong American space economy and free the agency to focus on developing the next-generation rocket, spacecraft and systems so that it could go beyond the moon and sustain deep space exploration.
SpaceX's Plans Of Moon Flight
Meanwhile, according to Space, under the SpaceX plan, passengers would be able to take a trip on Dragon and loop around the moon, while skimming above the lunar surface at the closest point and flying out up to 400,000 miles from Earth at the farthest point. Musk reveals that the entire trip, which will last for five days, could potentially be launched near the end of 2018 and is seen to most likely coincide with the 50th anniversary of NASA's historic flight of Apollo 8, which has apparently launched the first Apollo astronauts around the moon in December 1968. As of the press time, SpaceX has a $2.6 billion contract with NASA to fly astronauts to and from the International Space Station using its Dragon crew capsules and Falcon 9 rockets, which are smaller than the Falcon Heavy.
On the other hand, during his press conference, Musk has revealed that NASA would have first pick on the 2018 moon flight, and SpaceX would bump the two space tourists who were found to have already placed a "significant deposit" for the trip to a later flight if the space agency wanted the seats. However, it was found that Musk is yet to reveal who had purchased the moon flight seats on Dragon, or how much the trip has particularly cost per person.