SpaceX delays plans to send tourists around Moon: report

SpaceX will not send tourists around the Moon this year as previously announced, and will delay the project until the middle of next year, US media reported on Monday.

“A new timetable for the flight — now postponed until at least mid-2019 and likely longer — hasn’t been released” by the California-based company, said the report in The Wall Street Journal.

The reason for the delay is unclear. But it is a “sign that technical and production challenges are disrupting founder Elon Musk’s plans for human exploration of the solar system,” said the report.

“SpaceX also is confronting industry doubts about market demand for its Falcon Heavy rocket,” it said.

The tourists would ride aboard a Dragon capsule, hoisted into space on SpaceX’s most powerful rocket to date, the Falcon Heavy, which made its first test flight only four months ago.

SpaceX spokesman James Gleeson said, in an emailed statement to AFP, that the company “is still planning to fly private individuals around the moon and there is growing interest from many customers.”

SpaceX has not publicly released any new timeline for the mission, first announced in February 2017.

At the time, Musk said on Twitter the moon tourist mission was slated to happen “late next year,” referring to 2018.

Two private citizens, who have not been named, “have already paid a significant deposit,” Musk added.

The trip would mark the farthest humans have ever traveled to deep space.

The United States has not sent astronauts to the Moon since NASA’s Apollo missions of the 1960s and ’70s.

SpaceX is also planning to send astronauts to the International Space Station later this year, marking the first time since the US space shuttle program ended in 2011 that people have blasted to space from US soil.

SpaceX has told NASA it is targeting the first astronaut test flight no earlier than December 2018. Some observers, however, say the schedule could slip to 2019.

“Once operational Crew Dragon missions are under way for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the Moon and return to Earth,” SpaceX said in a statement.

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  1. Proud Eritrean June 12th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Well, as an Eritrean who is committed to do what it take to bring democratic reforms in Eritrea I have no sympathy for those who believe that Eritrea will be a better place if it was governed by radical Islamist. I Will not support religious organizations even if they have the power to overthrow the dictatorship gov’t.

  2. William Aaron June 12th, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    National islamic front by Dr Al-Turabi was very activ to support them to damage Eritreans since 1983 and we know who we can handele and hold them this evil sub human savagiry people such they are.The GVT of Eritrea hade much stamch and give them a time and now day this chance have never touch our heart who have blood in their hand and bleeding our country Eritrea.

    1. Wedi Keren June 13th, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Ironic that you call them savage, evil and sub-human yet you support a government which starves, jails, kills and ruins the lives of its own people in order to stay in power.

  3. aman June 12th, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I would be the first to oppose the dictator in Eritrea when it comes to jailing opposition, but these evil Islamic fundamentalists are no opposition but venom to poison our country – so it is good they are deal with fast and furiously.

    1. Wedi Keren June 13th, 2013 at 8:55 am

      How are they not an oppostion? They may represent an ideology you do not necessarily agree with, however provided they remained unarmed (like every other political party) it would be well within their right to participate in the democratic process.

      1. William Aaron June 13th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

        No from their nature case they will never be a demo Ifo becouse they are a deviliy born to kill.They may think Jebha were a muslim mevement in began but Jebha are finshed and are history path page.Now,we have there in Eritrea a Gvt that can governen to all believer in Eritrea of their common nation interst “One Heart to one Nation”.This is we call Eritreanism.Muslim in Eritrea have more right than other have and if you look deep inside in Horn such Ethiopia and Kenay ours are in heaven “Jenna”

        1. sarah June 13th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

          jebha is a good group.the president of eritrea said during the 70s and 80s that Jebha was muslim jihadist group but it really wasnt.

        2. Wedi Keren June 14th, 2013 at 5:09 am

          Have you ever thought that perhaps recognition of Islam as the way of life of Muslims and affording them full rights accordingly could enhance this idea of “One heart, One Nation”? How could Muslims full feel Eritrean when a government attempts to forge a national identity without recognizing them?

          Lastly, whether or not they are correct, using words like devils and describing them as “born to kill” is very damage to Muslim – Christian relations. This sort of language is often used by Western governments to demonise and legitimise the inhumane treatment of Muslims and the subjugation of their rights. If you really believe in “One heart, one nation” you would reach out to Muslims, or any disinfranchised group attempt to understand their grievance and enter into dialogue.

  4. Bin Jabir June 13th, 2013 at 9:10 am

    To the Kenyans and their Western Friends reading this, how do you feel about Al Shabaab? Do you enjoy it when they blow up innocent civilians in Nairobi? If you don’t, well lets start to discuss this so-called “Eritrean opposition” group that operated out of Sudan ie Eritrean Islamic Reform Movement.

    First off, Eritrean Islamic Reform Movement = Al Shabaab, this organization has done suicide bombings inside of Eritrea. Mind you Kenyans and your Western Friends, Eritrea is a SECULAR Nation which has 50% Christian and 50% Muslim living side by side. When terrorist jihadi groups like Eritrean Islamic Reform Movement try to pretend to be “democratic” Opposition groups yet their goal is to terrorise and impose Sharia on all Eritreans (Christians and Muslims) then we have a problem. I am sure Kenyans would not like to have sharia imposed on them, why shouldn’t the Eritreans have the same rright to FREEDOM from a RELIGIOUS OPRESSION?

    1. sarah June 13th, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Thank u sir This a fake oppostion group really there al shabaab.


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