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So someone is paying Elon Musk and SpaceX a lot of money to send two passengers around the Moon. Next year.

I really don't know if this is doable. The rocket has never been tested. The capsule is not human-rated. SpaceX was reported to be behind schedule on getting its first manned capsule to the space station. A week long trip around the Moon, out into deep space, is a lot harder. So I am skeptical this will happen.

And I don't love seeing space travel turned into something only the super-rich can afford.

But...we haven't been back to the Moon in too long. This could be the start of something big. The Moon awaits. Mars awaits. And Musk, for all his big talk, is a visionary. If anyone can really jumpstart the space program, it's him.

There are things brewing. NASA is pushing ahead with the SLS and Orion, though there is a sense that it's alternately going too slow and too fast. Other countries are getting in the act. And while this is a time when there is a lot to worry about, a time to wonder if we are going to get to the stars before we sink back into the mire, I still get a buzz any time I hear that people want to do the impossible.

So here's hoping that before too long, man will orbit the Moon again. And then set sail for the rest of the universe.

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Alex W

March 2017

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