Space coast reacts to SpaceX mission to fly around the moon

Space coast reacts to SpaceX mission to fly around the moon

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — SpaceX announced 24 hours ago its bold private moon venture. The Crew Dragon will blast off from the Kennedy Space Center in 2018.

SpaceX is preparing to send two private individuals on a week-long mission around the moon. The launch will happen from pad 39A, the same spot where SpaceX launched a new era of spaceflight from the Kennedy Space Center earlier this month.

“Not surprising that someone like Elon Musk and SpaceX said, ‘We can do this,’” said former NASA launch director Bob Sieck. “We've made that transition now low-earth orbit commercial with a mix of NASA, but NASA’s focus and funds is all on getting beyond low-earth orbit.”

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Sieck said sending people and payloads into space will always come with risks.

“There will never be anything routine about putting people and payloads into space because it’s tough up there. It's tough getting there. It's tough getting home of what's required for the mission,” Sieck said.

SpaceX acknowledged the risk during Monday’s announcement.

“Whether it’s because of the history, the heritage , or the amount of activity, this place locally, will always be the draw for people who are excited about our nation's space program.”

The two people who’ve made a down payment to fly around the moon will be inside a SpaceX Crew Dragon. It’s the same vehicle being developed for NASA to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.