SpaceX Delays Tourist Flights Around the Moon
SpaceX won’t be taking tourists to the moon, well at least not this year. SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk announced the tourist flight back in September 2017, saying two private citizens had laid down deposits to be taken on a flight around the moon.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that flights, scheduled for later this year, have been delayed. The scheduled first-of-its-kind mission was to take the space tourists in a Dragon Crew spacecraft launched from Earth by a Falon Heavy rocket.
Tourist flights to happen at a later date
Spokepserson for SpaceX James Gleeson, says the flights will eventually happen. "SpaceX is still planning to fly private individuals on a trip around the moon and there is growing interest from many customers," he wrote in a statement.
"SpaceX is still planning to fly private individuals on a trip around the moon and there is growing interest from many customers."
"Private spaceflight missions, including a trip around the moon, present an opportunity for humans to return to deep space and to travel faster and farther into the solar system than any before them, which is of course an important milestone as we work toward our ultimate goal to help make humanity multi-planetary."
SpaceX is yet to launch any type of manned mission using its spacecraft so it is probably for the best, that experts do some serious testing first. Boeing and SpaceX are locked in a ferocious battle over which company will be the first to put a human on reach Mars first.
Manned testing of the Crew Dragon spacecraft was expected to happen this year, but sources close to SpaceX suggest that date will likely be pushed to 2019. Both companies have spent a lot of time and effort curating the public image of their missions with detailed descriptions of both the spacecraft, its interior and astronaut suits.
Mars the pinnacle for private space companies
SpaceX has set a 2024 target of reaching Mars and with recent delays in testing, Boeing could be right on their heels. If you are curious about what life might be like inside the Dragon Crew interior SpaceX has provided an insightful tour on their website.
The emerging space exploration company says the spacecraft interior was designed for an ‘enjoyable ride’ and has four seats for its crew made from the ‘highest-grade carbon fiber and Alcantara cloth.’ The lucky crew will have views from the seats of ‘Earth, the Moon, and the wider Solar System'.
The same blog post describes how the interior temperature of the Crew Dragon can be manually adjustable between 18ºC and 30ºC degrees. It is a fully autonomous spacecraft. “Crew Dragon will be a fully autonomous spacecraft that can also be monitored and controlled by onboard astronauts and SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California,” says SpaceX.
Meanwhile Boeing have been keen to show off their space suit which they say ,"combines the first-hand experience of veteran astronaut Chris Ferguson with David Clark Co.’s decades of suit design, development, test and evaluation insight as the makers of more than a dozen air and space suits, including those for Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle missions."
Unusually the suits are blue, each suit will be customized for each crew member and will be worn during each aspect of the mission from launch, to re-entry.