Another striking project was voiced by an American billionaire Elon Musk. Now his plans relate to tourism – and to send tourists he intends not just anywhere but around the moon. Even American experts on space are already calling plans Mask it as “bravado”. What is the probability of the realization of this ambitious idea?
The head of the American aerospace company SpaceX Elon Musk has once again surprised his ambitious plans. He intends nothing less than to organize the 2018 private space tourist mission which circled around the moon (without landing) and back to the Ground. Tourists will be two unnamed people in Hollywood who have already paid for the flight and will soon start training and medical examinations.
“SpaceX plans and timelines look like bravado, because the company has never sent a man into space”
The Musk intends to implement with manned spacecraft Dragon 2 and of the carrier rocket Falcon Heavy. Both devices are still under development, but it does not diminish optimism Mask. According to his idea, this summer should be carried out test launches of the Falcon Heavy by the end of the year – 2 demonstration flight of Dragon to ISS in automatic mode. In the second quarter of 2018 it is planned the first launch vehicle to the ISS crew on Board. After all these launches and tests SpaceX and plans to organize tourist flight. In the future, the company aims to introduce the practice of regular space missions with tourists on Board, and annually to make four flights to the ISS – three trucks and one with the crew.
Musk expects that these plans will allow SpaceX to become one of the major companies engaged in the delivery of astronauts to the ISS, as well as tourists into space. Thus due to the income from the tourist missions he intends to reduce the cost of sending crews and cargo to the ISS for the U.S. government. In addition, lunar flight should be the first step towards its goal of human missions to Mars.
The plans are certainly ambitious, but how feasible? Upon closer inspection, besides the odium of the founder of SpaceX (founded in 2002) is something to bring itself into an asset. It was the first private company that launched in 2008, the carrier rocket with liquid engines in orbit (Falcon 1). In 2010 she was the first non-state companies, sent back and returned the Dragon spacecraft (with the help of the carrier rocket Falcon 9), and in 2012, it docked with the ISS. In 2013, the Falcon 9 rocket launched to the geostationary orbit a satellite SES-8 (which also failed to private business). In addition, SpaceX for the first time in the world to have achieved the landing of the first stage of the launch vehicle to earth (2015) on the offshore platform (2016), successfully translating the idea of a reusable launch vehicle.
At the same time, the company has faced serious setbacks. In particular, in 2013 the Dragon lost control due to blocking of the fuel valves. In 2015, the other Dragon, which was to deliver water and food to the ISS, after starting fell due to the explosion of the tank with helium. The Falcon 9 rocket together with the companion that she was supposed to deliver exploded in 2016, directly on the starting platform. And the landing of the first stage of the rocket failed, the company is not the first time. Also no more than a few days ago the Dragon truck was not able to dock to the ISS the first time. In addition, due to the lack of resources has repeatedly postponed the launch date of the spacecraft with the crew (it was initially planned for 2014) and the delivery of humans to Mars (2020 to 2024).
Thus, Musk has consistently ambitious statements but have often postponed or even postponed indefinitely. In these circumstances, the experts critically embraced plans for lunar tourism flight. John Logsdon, a space policy expert at the George Washington University, called it a “SpaceX bravado,” adding that the mission carries no research value, and is only a leisure trip. Astrophysicist Alan Duffy and Mika McKinnon, a geophysicist in their Twitter questioned the reality of the company terms. Astronomer Jonathan McDowell also expressed skepticism about the timing, calling more real in 2020. Scott pace, Director, space policy Institute the George Washington University, has repeatedly criticized SpaceX in breakdowns of set deadlines, and after the explosion of the carrier rocket – and carelessness.
Plans Ilona Mask, although you seem thoughtful, you still look fantastic. You should start with the fact that the company SpaceX has never launched people into space. First developed by the manned spacecraft Dragon 2 still needs to pass all the tests. New rocket Falcon Heavy, which should become the most powerful in history, yet also never run. Yes, SpaceX has some experience in this area, and devices are not created from scratch. However, there is a bad experience. Yes, and the space between the cargo and human flights there is a significant difference. In these circumstances, sending people in less than a year after the initial launch vehicle and the launch vehicle seems crazy.
However, while the vast majority of launches carried out by launch vehicles of Russian production. In addition, Roskosmos has repeatedly announced plans for the further development of the space program. In particular, in the coming years it is planned to develop a transport system capable of manned flights to the moon. Roscosmos also plans to develop a program of space tourism. In addition, in the framework of the mission “Eczemas” is planned by 2020 to send a Rover to the Red planet, as well as to mount on the surface of the stationary laboratory.