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SpaceX to Send First Tourists Around the Moon 2018

Posted by  $  MikeMarotta 8 months, 3 weeks ago to Business
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SpaceX plans to launch two paying passengers on a tourist trip around the moon next year using a spaceship under development for NASA astronauts and a heavy-lift rocket yet to be flown, the launch company announced on Monday.

The launch of the first privately funded tourist flight beyond the orbit of the International Space Station is tentatively targeted for late 2018, Space Exploration Technologies Chief Executive Elon Musk told reporters on a conference call.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-spa...

[I posted that two days ago, 28 Feb '17. Reflecting on this, I think that "space tourism" is evidence of a shift in a fundamental aspect of our culture, a change in society as important as the Renaissance. The purpose of the venture is not to find gold as it was for the European exploration of the Americas, but for personal enrichment. It is beyond mere pleasure - though it will be pleasurable, but for an ineffable extension of consciousness. And consciousness is an attribute of an individual.

From 1995 to 2003, I wrote about aviation while learning to fly. Writing for other pilots was easy enough, but I never felt capable of transmitting that experience to someone who had not shared it. Sure, I read books about flying by aviators. We by Charles Lindbergh was probably the best narrative, but, again, by then, I too, had flown, probably soloed by then.

I actually took my first two flying lessons in 1984 and 1985 inspired by NASA's "Journalist in Space" competition. Being a pilot was not a requirement. But NASA's goal was to get people into space who could translate the experience to a broad audience. It was not limited to prose. John Denver - also a pilot - entered the competition, as did Walter Cronkite. The program was cancelled after the Challenger disaster.

In my aviation library, I have three disks of music, including Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly" (listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tresP... ). Nice try... but I have landed and seen the rime ice on the edge of the wing, the unheeded warning... If you never have, the lyrics are just words, rich and compelling as the music is.

As far as we know from every American who has written about it, going into outer space changes your mind about everything you knew. That is worth more than all the gold of the Aztecs. And it will have wider, deeper, and stronger consequences in the channeling courses of human history.]


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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Only a small handful of humans have traveled far enough to see Earth as a sphere. It's hard to believe tourists will do it in two years. I hope it happens, even if it takes a little longer than two years.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Yes
    "The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
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  • Posted by ProfChuck 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    I guess it depends on what you mean by "tourist". I have been doing some consulting for a company that plans to participate in asteroid and lunar mining. They have been working closely with SPACEX and hope to use Musk's facilities to support the project. While extraterrestrial resource capture will be done largely by automated systems there will be a significant human presence in the form of scientists, engineers and technicians. A trip around the Moon is exciting to be sure but what better training for future asteroid miners than to actually do it?
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  • Posted by mia767ca 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    i was an Air Force pilot when the call came for astronaut candidates..made it thru the first cut, but no farther...sign me up for Musk's adventure...around the moon and to Mars...i'm out here...
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Better late than never! When i was in high school when we were sending astronauts into space I really hoping for a Moonbase would be built.Now at 66 years old I wish there was such a place to go to to alleviate my osteoarthritis. I have to exercise daily to stave off another hip replacement (left hip already done). A moonbase should be the next step for these space entrepreneurs.
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  • Posted by artswavn 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Glad you took the time to 'learn' to fly. Me -- over 15,000 hours on books and STILL don't know enough to trust makers of skinny rocket to take me where my 'chute can not help me. Have been forced to the ground with ice, had engines on fire, but still don't know enough to comment on these pages. Great for those 'pioneering' spirits. Me -- wait another 10 years but be too old by then.
    THANKFUL tor our pioneers. Me -- will say a small prayer for them. Yes -- I DO believe in that. Kept me alive when chips were down.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Perhaps this is similar to a new release of windows. Get the customers to pay to take the risk to debug the product.
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    • Posted by  $  8 months, 3 weeks ago
      Cute. Almost worth a point... I added some reflective comments to the original post above. Relative to your analogy, on a serious level, I agree that this will be as consequential as was the computer revolution (which is still continuing). Cyberspace and outer space will meet in "inner space."
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  • Posted by wiggys 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    I am now interested in the explanation when this deal fails.
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    • Posted by  $  8 months, 3 weeks ago
      You sound as if you want it to fail...
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      • Posted by wiggys 8 months, 3 weeks ago
        objectively it would be quite an accomplishment, however, I do not believe it will be accomplished any time soon. and I do believe if it is tried it will unfortunately fail and therefore all aboard will die. it is a money making deal that this gut musk is pursuing and of course he will be on the ground. just like his cars do not generate profit in a competitive world he is supported by our tax (confiscated money) dollars this too will be seen as a sham.
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