In a tweet, SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, said it would send a person to the moon. And that man or woman will be a private person and not an astronaut. SpaceX did not give a timetable or say who the rocket rider would be.
In the tweet, @SpaceX said:
And then added:
Number 25 will be on the way, probably accompanied by several crew members, which will take the count higher.
The SpaceX moon trip is not part of the primary mission of the company. Its huge rockets have begun to carry cargo into space. And some of these rockets are reusable, a first in the industry. SpaceX has started to muscle out the competition for this business.
The largest SpaceX model, known as the Falcon Heavy, is the world’s largest rocket. It can carry 141,000 pounds of cargo, which SpaceX points out is “a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel.”
The company’s Falcon 9 and Dragon can carry large payloads as well, but they are also built to carry humans. SpaceX announced:
Falcon 9, along with the Dragon spacecraft, was designed from the outset to deliver humans into space and under an agreement with NASA, SpaceX is actively working toward this goal.
The plan to take a person to the moon is a publicity stunt. However, it is one that may make believers of Musk’s brag that he will move the space age well beyond Earth orbit.