The SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, confirmed on Monday that two wealthy individuals have paid for a private mission around the moon. The mission will take place next year with the companies yet untested Falcon Heavy rocket.

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Elon Musk made the announcement via a conference call with a number of reporters, but he refused to name the two people and how much they had paid for their unique ‘holiday’.  He did, however, reveal that the two people know each other and are ‘very serious’ about the flight. SpaceX was approached by these two people towards the end of last year, they will now go through intense training and health and safety checks before they are able to launch.

Musk said that the round trip would take about a week, nearing the moon’s surface but not landing on it, before returning to earth. The total flight would go between 300,000 to 400,000 miles into space, he said, which means the flight could take humans further away from the Earth than ever before.

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If SpaceX completes the trip before Nasa or any other space agency send an astronaut to the moon, it would be the first lunar mission with humans in 45 years, on a course that would extend past the record 249,000 miles travelled by the Apollo 13 astronauts back in 1970.

SpaceX released a statement saying that the passengers have already placed a large deposit for the moon mission. Elon Musk also stated that cost would be ‘comparable’ to that of sending astronauts to the International Space Station, which costs Nasa around £70 million per person.

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