SpaceX's Moon Mission Doesn't Mean NASA is Giving Up on the SLS

Janie Parker
March 1, 2017

Tech billionaire Elon Musk, founder of the pioneering space transport company SpaceX, has announced a mission to fly two people to the moon next year in what would be a landmark moment for space travel. As the company puts it: "This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the solar system than any before them".

The moon mission vehicle is created to be automated, Musk told reporters, but the passengers will be trained in emergency procedures in case there is a problem.

The two people who asked to be shot into space know that there are risks connected with the journey.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Musk said in the teleconference that his company's current contract with NASA would take precedent over the commercial flight should the administration choose to request the two seats on the Dragon capsule's flight around the moon. "I think it would be very positive". "But they're coming into this with their eyes open", said Musk, adding that the pair will receive "extensive" training before the flight. Once they verified that it contained lunar dust collected from a space mission, they confiscated it, asserting that it was government property, sparking a legal fight over its ownership.

NASA has congratulated SpaceX on "reaching higher".

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SpaceX said the tourists will launch from Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Fla., on launch pad 39A, which is the same one used for the Apollo missions.

Falcon Heavy is 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust, making it two-thirds the thrust of Saturn V and more than double the thrust of the next largest launch vehicle now flying. SpaceX plans to use its Falcon Heavy rocket, which is set to launch its first test flight this summer.

SpaceX has seen some recent setbacks, including multiple delays launching and docking a capsule on the International Space Station earlier this month.

The space artifact is from the Apollo 11 mission, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Alrdrin first stepped foot on the moon.

Musk said anything that advances the space exploration cause is good, no matter who goes first.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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