• Fri. May 24th, 2024

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Is timescale for tourist mission to the moon too ambitious?

The timescale and budget to fly two tourists to the moon by a US private rocket company are “highly ambitious” according to a North East Space Law expert.

Dr Chris Newman, a Reader in Law at the University of Sunderland, is actively engaged in research in the emerging field of Space Law and has been recognised as a national expert on UK and European space law and policy.

He says that while the mission, announced by SpaceX for late 2018, to fly two private citizens around the moon is “incredibly exciting and bold”, he is keen to strike a note of caution.

“The idea of a crewed flight around the moon is definitely feasible and Space X, again, has proven to be highly adept at boldly seizing the initiative in space activity,” said Dr Newman. Adding: “Both the timescale and the budget are, however, extremely ambitious and it remains to be seen if the practical difficulties associated with human spaceflight can match this ambition.”

The unnamed tourists have already paid a significant deposit, according the SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and will fly aboard a spaceship which is set for its first unmanned test flight later this year.

Mr Musk said the co-operation of America’s Nasa space agency had made the plan possible and represented an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years.

For more information, visit our Experts List: http://experts.sunderland.ac.uk/portfolio/dr-chris-newman/