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SpaceX reveals plan to send two private citizens around the moon in 2018

LNM Radio Network

SpaceX says it’s making plans to send two private citizens around the moon late next year – using its yet-to-be-flown Falcon Heavy rocket and its crew-capable Dragon capsule, which is still under development.

The would-be fliers have not been identified, but they have already paid a “significant deposit” for the trip, SpaceX said today in its announcement of the mission.

The Falcon Heavy would lift off from SpaceX’s launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and put the Dragon spacecraft on a free-return trajectory that would loop far beyond the moon and then come back to Earth without any attempt at a lunar landing.

SpaceX’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, telegraphed today’s announcement on Sunday in a tweet, but didn’t give any hints in advance about the topic.