SpaceX said Monday it plans to fly two private citizens on a mission around the moon by late 2018 as part of a lunar journey that would last about a week and travel deeper into space than any human has ventured before.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk would not name the two individuals, who he said approached the company and would pay for the flight.
In a call with reporters, Musk said he is not in competition with the government space agency, and that if NASA wanted to partner on the lunar mission that would take priority over the two private individuals.
“What matters is the advancement of space exploration and exceeding the high-water mark that was set in 1969 with the Apollo program,” he said. “And having a really exciting future in space that inspires the world.”