It’s been precisely one year since Elon Musk announced SpaceX would be sending two private citizens around the moon sometime in late 2018. Since then, SpaceX has successfully launched several Falcon 9 rockets, the Falcon Heavy, and announced its plans to build an even bigger rocket, aptly titled the Big Fucking Rocket (BFR).
This is all to say that those moon tourists shouldn’t hold their breath for a trip around the moon anytime soon. They’ll just have to settle for some other plebeian sojourn in Bali or Monaco. Tragic, really.
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Though Musk has been characteristically mum on the moonshot, he did touch on it in a press conference after SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch earlier this month.
“What we decided internally is to focus our future development on BFR,” he told reporters, when asked how the Falcon Heavy launch could impact plans for the still anonymous pair of moon tourists. “Now we’ll see how the BFR development goes. If it ends up taking longer than expected then we’ll return top the idea of sending a Crew Dragon on Falcon Heavy to the moon and potentially doing other things with crew on Falcon Heavy. But right now it looks like BFR development is moving quickly and it will not be necessary to qualify Falcon Heavy for crewed space flight.”
The initial plan was to send the tourists around the moon using a Crew Dragon capsule atop the Falcon Heavy. Passengers would cruise roughly 300,000 to 400,000 miles around the moon in a week-long journey before returning back to Earth. SpaceX did not immediately respond to Inverse’s request for comment on new developments in the moonshot timeline.
It’s difficult to parse anything from Musk’s elaborate non-answer, but it seems like SpaceX will scrap this (for now) in favor of focusing on BFR production. Since Musk didn’t really have much more to say, it seems the fate of the moon excursion hangs in the balance of bourgeois purgatory.
If they’re still looking, I hear Groupon has some good vacation packages.