A SpaceX Starship. Photo: SpaceX
Businessman Dennis Tito, the first-ever space tourist, has scored another trip to space — and this time he’s going around the Moon with SpaceX.
Why it matters: SpaceX’s ultimate goal is to make life multi-planetary by bringing about a future where humans are living on Mars and possibly deeper into the solar system.
- These types of private missions allow the company to test the technology they see as key to creating that future.
What’s happening: SpaceX announced today that Tito, 82, and his wife Akiko Tito will circle the Moon with 10 other, yet-to-be-named crewmembers on the third crewed flight of the company’s Starship, designed for deep space exploration.
Tito’s mission won’t fly for years. It will launch after the Polaris flight expected to be the first crewed Starship launch and the dearMoon mission to orbit the Moon.
“Over the course of a week, Starship and the crew will travel to the Moon, fly within 200 km of the Moon’s surface, and complete a full journey around the Moon before safely returning to Earth,” SpaceX said in a statement.
The Titos haven’t said how much they’re paying for the mission.
What to watch: Starship has yet to fly to orbit, but SpaceX is expected to launch its debut orbital flight at some point in the coming months from Texas.
From there, the company will launch uncrewed flights to try out the technology before eventually putting people onboard.