5 Things You Should Know About SpaceX’s Upcoming Manned Flight To The Moon
SpaceX has announced that it is currently preparing for humanity’s first trip to the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972. The mission has not only made caught the attention of mainstream media but along with word of SpaceX preparing for the first-ever manned flight to Mars, it has stirred excitement about space travel.
The ambitious journey has been unofficially dubbed the SpaceX Lunar Tourism Mission, and it’s only a few years away. Curious what it’s all about? In this article we’ll go over everything you need to know about SpaceX is cooking.
1. HD Virtual Reality Livestreams For All To See
Humanity has already been to the Moon several times, so the objective of this mission isn’t exactly something new outside of the tourism element. But there are a few things that will separate the experience from the Apollo missions that defined a generation, one of the most prominent of which is that the entire thing will be livestreamed.
Elon Musk has confirmed that the entire trip will be viewable via livestream. Several cameras will provide a crystal clear viewing experience of what it’s like to travel outside the Earth‘s orbit, and there will even be virtual reality support for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the spectacle.
We’re hoping that there will be an exterior camera that can give us a clear view of the galaxies and stars that pepper our sky. That would be awesome.
2. Nobody Will Be Walking On The Moon
Now that you know that you’ll be getting a front-row seat to watch a moon-borne reality show, you’re probably most excited to see the crew of professionally untrained millionaires jump around the Moon. Unfortunately, that won’t happen.
The rocket will fly around the moon before returning to Earth, with no plans of stopping on the celestial body for a closer look at its dusty surface.
The truth is it’s a lot easier to go to the moon than it is to go to the moon and land. This more simplified journey means the crew won’t need spacesuits, won’t have to be trained on how not to accidentally kill themselves in the hazardous vacuum of space, and the spaceship won’t require additional hardware and fuel for landing making an extra stop.
This means that, for now, the 12 people that walked on the moon a few decades ago will remain an exclusive group for the foreseeable future.
3. This Is The Maiden Flight Of What Will Become A Regular Gig
SpaceX was founded on the principle that there is an incredible demand for space tourism. Many of us like hearing about space, but just about everyone would love to go there if it were accessible.
While this particular voyage will be exclusive to a wealthy few, it’s essentially a pilot for many recurring missions to come. It wouldn’t be particularly surprising if SpaceX could eventually provide several flights per month.
As the system is perfected and begins bringing in reliable revenue for SpaceX, it will become much more affordable. Would you fly to the Moon for $500,000? Maybe that’ll be a real question to ponder in a couple decades.
4. It Will Inspire Artists
Along with Japanese billionaire, Yasuku Maezawa will be six to eight artists onboard the flight. That might sound ridiculous, but the idea is that they will “be inspired” by the remarkable experience, returning to Earth with a new-found perspective.
Elon Musk made a point during the announcement of the mission that space is incredibly thought-provoking, especially when you experience it directly. Maezawa then shared that he thinks the artists will be able to articulate their journey in an artful form that can inspire world peace.
What wasn’t clear during the announcement, but was later clarified, is that the crew won’t just be a group of painters and such. By artists they mean the group will likely include a professional photographer, film director, fashion designer, novelist, etc.
As of right now, only Mazawa is confirmed for the flight. All other passengers are still being selected. If you really want to go, then now’s your chance.
5. The Technicals
The flight will last six days, most of which will be spent traveling the vacuum of space separating the Earth and the Moon. It will “skim the surface of the Moon” before continuing out into space and returning to Earth.
The rocket responsible for safely journeying to the Moon and back is the BFR, a new spaceship in production by SpaceX that is built specifically to carry around eight passengers. A version of this rocket will be used to journey to Mars roughly a decade from now.
Before a BFR ever takes flight with crew onboard, many tests will be run to guarantee safety to the highest degree. Yasuka Maezawa (and any non-Americans on the flight) will become the first non-American to ever fly to the Moon.
The proposed launch year is 2023, meaning we’re likely less than five years from this actually happening.