World's first space tourist set to fly around the Moon with SpaceX
Businessman Dennis Tito, the first-ever space tourist, has scored another trip to space — and this time he's going around the Moon with SpaceX.
Why it matters: SpaceX's ultimate goal is to make life multi-planetary by bringing about a future where humans are living on Mars and possibly deeper into the solar system.
- These types of private missions allow the company to test the technology they see as key to creating that future.
What's happening: SpaceX announced today that Tito, 82, and his wife Akiko Tito will circle the Moon with 10 other, yet-to-be-named crewmembers on the third crewed flight of the company's Starship, designed for deep space exploration.
- Tito's mission won't fly for years. It will launch after the Polaris flight expected to be the first crewed Starship launch and the dearMoon mission to orbit the Moon.
- "Over the course of a week, Starship and the crew will travel to the Moon, fly within 200 km of the Moon’s surface, and complete a full journey around the Moon before safely returning to Earth," SpaceX said in a statement.
- The Titos haven't said how much they're paying for the mission.
What to watch: Starship has yet to fly to orbit, but SpaceX is expected to launch its debut orbital flight at some point in the coming months from Texas.
- From there, the company will launch uncrewed flights to try out the technology before eventually putting people onboard.