SpaceX says it will fly two people to the moon next year

SpaceX said it will fly two people to the moon next year, a feat not attempted since NASA’s Apollo heyday close to half a century ago. 

Tech billionaire Elon Musk — the company’s founder — announced the surprising news. 

Two people who know one another approached the company about sending them on a weeklong flight just beyond the moon, according to Musk. He won’t identify the pair or the price tag. They’ve already paid a “significant” deposit, he noted. 

Mr Musk said SpaceX is on track to launch astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA in mid-2018. This moon mission would follow about six months later, by the end of the year under the current schedule, using a Dragon crew capsule and a Falcon heavy rocket. 

The moon mission is designed to be autonomous — unless something goes wrong, Mr Musk said. 

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