A couple of presumably awesome people have approached SpaceX about zooming to the moon in late 2018, Elon Musk's space-minded company announced Monday. The two private citizens have already hit SpaceX with a "significant deposit" and are projected to begin health and fitness exams later this year. In a press release, a SpaceX spokesperson thanked NASA for their assistance in keeping the dream of space alive and said journeys of this nature bode well for the company's "ultimate goal" of getting us to Mars.
"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," a SpaceX spokesperson said Monday. "We expect to conduct health and fitness tests, as well as begin initial training later this year. Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest and we expect more to follow."
The proposed mission, according to NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce, would mark the first time humans have made it "beyond low Earth orbit since the days of Apollo." The lucky passengers are expected to loop around the natural satellite before heading back to Earth, meaning there will unfortunately be no opportunity for a throwdown on the surface of the moon.
In a subsequent statement of congrats, fellow purveyors of space at NASA praised SpaceX for “reaching higher” and said they would be working closely with the company to make sure safety is foremost in their plans. "For more than a decade, NASA has invested in private industry to develop capabilities for the American people and seed commercial innovation to advance humanity's future in space," the statement said. "NASA is changing the way it does 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 to go beyond the moon and sustain deep space exploration."
For more info on the Dragon spacecraft set to take these two space adventurers around the moon, peep SpaceX's full statement here. No matter what bullshit is going down here on Earth, at least we know someone out there is still focused on multiplanetary concerns.