US rocket company SpaceX has announced that two private citizens have paid to be sent around the Moon.
The tourist mission is planned for late 2018, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, adding that the tourists “have already paid a significant deposit”.
The two unnamed people will fly aboard a spaceship which is set for its first unmanned test flight later this year. The two passengers “will travel faster and further into the solar system than any before them”.
SpaceX has declined to reveal their identities, only saying that they knew each other and that “it’s nobody from Hollywood”.
The space tourists would make a loop around the Moon, skimming the lunar surface. The mission will not involve a lunar landing.
The US has not sent astronauts to the Moon since the early 1970s.