SpaceX Plans to Fly Two Civilians Around the Moon by Next Year

Elon Musk hopes to send humans deeper into space than anyone has ever traveled before

 Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

On Monday, Elon Musk's SpaceX announced its plans to send two private citizens on a mission around the moon by late 2018. The journey would last around a week and break new ground for how deep into space humans have traveled.

The announcement is the latest in SpaceX's ambitious efforts to get man further into the great beyond. Earlier this year, Musk announced plans to eventually colonize Mars. On a call with reporters, Musk discussed the company's latest endeavor, and its relation to the big picture of the space industry's progress. "What matters is the advancement of space exploration and exceeding the high-water mark that was set in 1969 with the Apollo program and having a really exciting future in space that inspires the world," he said.

An organization named Mars One is also seeking to send human life to the red planet within the next century. In 2015, Howard talked to Leila Zucker, one of the 100 hopeful finalists vying for a spot in Mars One's relocation program.

Before you get too excited and go signing up for the nearest space camp in your area, SpaceX's two unnamed lunar travelers have already been set. The soon-to-be-astronauts approached the company and will be financing their journey themselves. The tentative 2018 plan would be much sooner than previously thought possible, especially since the proposed rocket involved, the Falcon Heavy, has yet to fly.

Read more about SpaceX's moon plans here.