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SpaceX plans to fly two paying customers around the moon in 2018

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced plans today to send two private citizens—not NASA astronauts—around the moon next year. The two customers, so far unnamed, have already put down a “significant deposit” and will begin training for the trip toward the end of this year, he said at a press conference. Musk, whom The Verge notes is somewhat “well known for unrealistic deadlines”—he promised in 2011 to put people in space by 2014—has said the trip will entail about a weeklong flight aboard an automated vehicle. SpaceX plans to launch an uncrewed mission and then a NASA-crewed mission before the commercial flight, which the company has slated for the end of 2018. 

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