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SpaceX reveals plan for round-the-moon trip

SpaceX Crew Dragon
An artist’s conception shows SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX says it’s making plans to send two private citizens around the moon late next year – using its yet-to-be-flown Falcon Heavy rocket and its crew-capable Dragon capsule, which is still under development.

The would-be fliers have not been identified, but they have already paid a “significant deposit” for the trip, SpaceX said today in its announcement of the mission.

The Falcon Heavy would lift off from SpaceX’s launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and put the Dragon spacecraft on a free-return trajectory that would loop far beyond the moon and then come back to Earth without any attempt at a lunar landing.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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