Come fly with me, to the Moon! SpaceX will fly two daring tourists around Earth’s satellite in 2018


While most Irish people are just happy to pop down to Lanzarote or Santa Ponsa for the summer, others have their sights set much higher than that in the holiday sweepstakes.

SpaceX, the company owned by entrepeneur Elon Musk, have confirmed that they will fly two tourists around the Moon in 2018.

The two pioneers -who have reportedly paid a handsome deposit for the privilege- will be flown around the Moon but will not actually land.

The week-long holiday is not without its risks, however. At least, the aforementioned Lanzarote and Santa Ponsa are tried and tested summer haunts. Outer space is another kettle of fish altogether.

SpaceX will use an as-of-yet untested Heavy Falcon-class rocket to propel an also untested craft, dubbed Crew Dragon. The company will test the rocket for the first time this summer.

SpaceX have achieved great accolades thus far, but have also suffered serious setbacks. A Falcon 9-class rocket exploded while being fueled last September, for instance, destroying over $200m worth of equipment and months of development in the process.

The tourists, whose deposits are presumably non-refundable, are said to have been briefed on the risks that the trip carries.

While no dates have yet been fixed for this historic event, SpaceX expects to kickstart the Moon tourism business next year.

Any volunteers?

Stargazers rejoice: Spectacular supermoon will light up the night sky on Monday


The biggest and brightest supermoon in almost seven decades will soar across the night skies on Monday, November 14.

The Moon’s orbit follows an elliptical path around the Earth. When our satellite is full at the perigee of this orbit, it is known as Supermoon.

A lot of celestial bodies affect the eccentricity of the Moon’s orbit through gravity. The Sun, for sure, but also Jupiter, and many others. This eccentricity ‘extends’ the elliptical path and causes the Moon to pass closer to Earth.

And Earth’s heavenly partner will be at its closest to our planet since 1948. On Monday, the Moon will be just 221,524 miles away from us. Some NASA scientists have deemed it ‘extra-supermoon’, due to this unusual proximity. The Moon will not be that close to Earth until 2034.

At its perigee, the Moon will look 14pc larger than normal. And it will appear a whole lot brighter than normal, too, as Earth’s journey through space takes it near the Sun at this time of year, and the Moon’s radiance will shine about 30pc more luminosity on Earth’s surface.

So go and watch the skies, as this supermoon will be one not to miss!