Is a trip to outer space something you’ve always dreamed of? Our generation is said to have been born too late to explore the earth, yet born too early to explore the galaxy – middle children of history, if you will. However, that may no longer be the case as a trip to the moon might soon become a reality.
It was announced recently, by Space Development Company SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, that the company is planning on sending two lucky tourists around the moon by 2018. It’s nearly impossible to even fathom of what’s in it for the tourists when it comes to “mak[ing] a long loop around the moon”, as it’s difficult to conceptualize what it’s even like out there. As of now, all we can say is that the passengers will travel for “perhaps 300,000 or 400,000 miles distance altogether,” and that “the mission [will] not involve a lunar landing.” Moreover, if this trip is successful, it will be the first return of human beings to the deep space since the 1960~1970 Apollo plan. It has also been revealed that the private tourists have already paid a substantial amount of money for this getaway, and that they will be going through training as well as health and fitness check ups within this year.
“Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.” – Elon Musk
The passengers are planned to travel on the capsule spaceship Crew Dragon, which will be placed on the rocket Falcon Heavy. The Dragon spacecraft will, for the most part, “operate…autonomously,” which means the passengers must “train for emergency procedures but will not be in charge of piloting the spacecraft.” 45 years have passed, but mankind will finally be re-exploring the solar system and beyond. It is exciting to see how far we have come in terms of technological advancements, and what more the future awaits. Who knows, maybe we weren’t born too early to explore the galaxy!
– Leona Maruyama (‘17)
Featured Image: SpaceX