Some experts raise doubts over SpaceX’s Moon mission

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently announced the company’s plans to fly two civilians on a private trip around the Moon before the end of 2018, but some experts have raised doubts over the ambitious plan.

Humans have already set feet on the Moon’s surface but they first saw the earth’s natural satellite’s far side decades ago in 1968. SpaceX has plans to send the two paying passengers using its Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon Heavy rocket. The two civilians will be the only individuals on board the spacecraft, and the planned mission will be a weeklong excursion around the Moon.

But, Wayne Hale, NASA's space shuttle program’s former manager, said that the relic of that great achievement should not be allowed to befool anyone into thinking that Musk’s company can easily achieve its Moon mission.

Hale, who now works for Colorado-based engineering firm Special Aerospace Services, added, “Even with today's technology, it's still an extraordinarily difficult, extraordinarily dangerous task to undertake, period — I don't care who you are.”

He further added that SpaceX may eventually be able to make a crewed lunar loop, but he remains doubtful that the mission will take place next year.

However, Phil Larson, a former space policy adviser to former President Barack Obama, argued that the mission is challenging but not impossible. He stressed that Elon has proved previously that he does not put out dates that are not technically feasible.