Elon Musk has long been shooting for the moon, and now he wants to do it quite literally. The founder of both Tesla, the electric vehicle maker, as well as rocket launch company SpaceX, says he intends to send two “tourists” on a week-long trip to orbit the moon a little more than a year from now.
They’d ride in a modified version of the Dragon spacecraft that SpaceX is planning to use to begin ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station as early as 2018, allowing NASA to stop relying on the Russians to get there. According to Musk, there are already two paying customers who have plunked down a “significant deposit” for the lunar mission.
“Next year is going to be the big year for carrying people,” Musk said during a news conference. “This should be a really exciting mission that hopefully gets the world really excited about sending people into deep space again.”