Space Exploration Technologies plans to launch two paying customers on a tourist trip around the moon next year using a spaceship under development for NASA astronauts and a heavy-lift rocket yet to be flown, chief executive Elon Musk told reporters on Monday.
The launch of the first privately funded tourist flight beyond the orbit of the International Space Station is tentatively targeted for late 2018, Musk told reporters on a conference call.
Musk declined to identify the customers or say how much they would pay to fly on the weeklong mission, except to say that it’s “nobody from Hollywood.”
He said the two prospective space tourists know each other, have put down a “substantial” deposit and would
undergo “extensive training before going on the mission.”
“I think there’s a market for one or two of these per year,” he said, estimating that space tourist fares…