Last year, in February, Elon Musk, the SpaceX’s founder and CEO, has made the ambitious statement that his company will launch the first space tourist flight around the Moon in 2018 with SpaceX Dragon capsule and Falcon Heavy rocket. However, as we’re already in mid-2018, there are no chances SpaceX will keep its CEO’s promise.
But according to The Wall Street Journal, the first space tourist flight operated by SpaceX might take place in mid-2019 or even later than that. However, this is only based on suppositions and rumors because neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk has made any statements in this regard.
Nonetheless, the mission is not down, according to SpaceX’s spokesman cited by The Wall Street Journal, who said that “SpaceX is still planning to fly private individuals around the Moon, and there is growing interest from many customers.”
SpaceX has everything ready for the first space tourist flight around the Moon
As we speak, Dragon capsule is successfully delivering cargo missions to ISS, launched by SpaceX Falcon 9. However, the SpaceX engineers are still working on making the Dragon capsule suitable for manned missions.
Even more, SpaceX lagged in complying with their initial agreement with NASA for bringing astronauts to ISS and back. Initially, SpaceX, as well as Boeing (part of another contract with NASA regarding manned missions to ISS), promised to finish its Dragon capsule for manned missions in 2017. However, both SpaceX and Boeing delayed their agreements with NASA for Q3 2018 but, according to latest rumors, both deals might get postponed for 2019.
When Elon Musk has stated that 2018 will be the year SpaceX will operate the first space tourist flight around the Moon, SpaceX Falcon Heavy was still under development, but now the most powerful rocket in the world is operational and even made its first flight in February when it launched the renowned Musk’s Tesla Roadster.
In conclusion, most likely, the SpaceX’s first space tourist flight around the Moon will be conducted as soon as the Dragon capsule is ready for manned missions which will be in 2019, most probably.