SpaceX to Send 2 Citizens to Moon in 2018: Elon Musk

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

"They have placed a significant deposit", Musk said.

The Elon Musk private space flight company announced Monday that it will fly two wealthy passengers on a flight to the night sky's most familiar object late next year.

The individuals will travel in the Dragon 2 capsule - the same unit used to bring supplies to the International Space Station. "This should be a really exciting mission, that will get the world really excited about deep space". This will be the first crewed spaceflight for the Dragon.

Does he finally have a launch date for the Falcon Heavy, the SpaceX rocket expected to be more powerful than any rocket that is lifting off today?

The mission will depart from Launchpad 39A at Cape Canaveral - the same pad Apollo astronauts launched from in the 1960s and 1970s.

The mission would "do a long loop around the moon" and would take about a week.

But Musk says that won't keep him from sending the private citizens on the around-the-moon trip next year.

The two people will undergo health screenings and begin training for the mission later this year, according to SpaceX. SpaceX added that "other flight teams have also expressed a strong interest, and we expect more to follow".

The company will release further information about the first private teams once they pass tests.

Otherwise known as the Crew Dragon, it's SpaceX's contribution to NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launched earlier this month from Kennedy Space Center.