So, a couple of unnamed, hyper-rich wannabe space travelers have pitched bushels-full of cash at SpaceX and its founder, Elon Musk. The idea being, they want to go to the moon.
Or, at least, around it.
SpaceX, of course, is the company that’s been sending food and supplies up to the International Space Station in its own privately-developed orbital vehicle since 2012. Musk is the wet dream porn star idolized by every privatization cheerleader in existence. He also started-up the Tesla automobile operation and throws tons of dough at visionary projects like solar power and Artificial Intelligence. And, truth be told, his vision and guts — (and billions of dollars) really are vital cultural and economic drivers toward the future.
Anyway, the two lucky souls’ll be strapped into the new, reusable Crew Dragon (Version 2) manned vehicle on top of the Falcon Heavy rocket sometime toward the end of 2018, if all goes well from now ’til then. Right now, SpaceX is under contract with NASA to send the fully-loaded CD 2.0 up to the ISS several times this year. As long as the thing doesn’t blow up or somehow get lost on the way up and/or back to the ISS, the circumlunar mission passengers will ride in one.
The Original Dragon Space Capsule in 2014
The Crew Dragon can fly fully automatically so it’s entirely possible the passengers will be the only humans on board when it comes time to swing around the back side of the moon. The spacecraft, as originally designed, can carry seven people.
Y’know, the old line Where are the jetpacks we were promised in the ’60s? might still elicit a chuckle but, honestly, the fact that we’ll be sending non-professional civilians on a joyride around the moon sooner rather than later proves these are exciting times.
Here’s a promo vid for the Dragon (v2), mating with its SpaceX adaptor fitted onto the ISS. SpaceX won’t allow me to embed the vid so you’ll have to suffer the old school indignity of having to click the link. Dammit, where are our jetpacks?!
BTW: Chicken Mama Jana Wilson contacted this communications colossus to inform us she’s got a piece in Annie Corrigan’s forthcoming book, Earth Eats: Real Food Green Living, co-written with Chef Daniel Orr.
Jana Wilson & Friend
[Image: Annie Corrigan/WFIU]
Full disclosure: The Loved One and I get eggs every time we can from Jana. She appears often on Corrigan’s Saturday AM WFIU food & farm show, also named “Earth Eats.” TLO is so hyped about Jana and her chickens that she has taken to dropping hints that we ought to cop a few pullets and start husbanding them ourselves. The foul look I give her seems effective enough to quash any such suggestion so far. Fingers crossed.
Annie’s book will hit the streets in April.
She Is The Egg Woman