In Brief

'Moon tourists' sign up for SpaceX flight

Two private citizens likely to be paying millions for chance to fly around the moon

Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX has announced that two private citizens have paid for a flight around the moon.

Musk said the mission is planned for "late 2018" and that the pair "have already paid a significant deposit".

He added: "Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration. 

"This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years."

The flight will take about a week to complete and will fly around the moon without touching down on its surface.

"[It] would rely on SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, the massive engine that the company hopes to test for the first time this summer, and a Dragon 2 capsule," The Guardian reports.

The names of the first two travellers have not been released, says CNN, but they are likely to be "paying millions for the adventure".

Musk said the cost of the flight would be "comparable" to sending an astronaut to the International Space Station, for which Russia's space agency Roscosmos charges Nasa around $70m (£56m).

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