Fly Me to the Moon

You may have missed it given all the other headlines of late, but we have an early candidate for science story of the year. Two weeks ago, Elon Musk announced that his company, SpaceX, had been approached by two as-yet unnamed people who want to visit the Moon on one of his rockets and then return safely to Earth. Musk has not only agreed to the challenge, but has also promised that the journey will take place by the end of next year. The mysterious duo will not land on the Moon, nor will they fall into orbit. Instead, they’ll make a single long loop around the Moon that will not only grant them an up-close look at the lunar surface, but will also take them farther from the Earth, and thus deeper into the Universe, than any humans in history. Simply put, this is the most audacious thing I have ever heard, especially when you consider that SpaceX is a private company with no experience launching people into space. Still no word on when we’ll learn the identity of these two spacefaring pioneers. Until I hear more, I leave you with the velvet trappings of Frankie Blue Eyes singing “Fly Me to the Moon.”