Holiday plans for 2018 – A trip to the Moon?

apollo 8

On 21 December 1968 man didnt quite make it onto the moon. However, Apollo 8, the second manned spaceflight mission in the United States Apollo space program, was launched, and became the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth orbit, reach the Earth’s Moon, orbit it and return safely to Earth. The three-astronaut crew Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to: travel beyond low Earth orbit; see Earth as a whole planet; enter the gravity well of another celestial body (Earth’s moon); orbit another celestial body (Earth’s moon); directly see the far side of the Moon with their own eyes; witness an Earthrise; escape the gravity of another celestial body (Earth’s moon); and re-enter the gravitational well of Earth.

The 1968 mission, the third flight of the Saturn V rocket and that rocket’s first crewed launch, was also the first human spaceflight launch from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, located adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

49 years later, on 27 February 2017 the SpaceX lunar tourism mission was announced. The idea behind this, as the name suggests, is to send some poor unsuspecting tourists into space during late 2018 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 8 flight. Despite a hefty price tag of around $40 million per person, with a maximum capacity of two on any flight, the proposed craft has not actually been tested. In fact at the time of the announcement it had never even flown!

As you would suspect, there is another problem. The moon is approximately 380,000km from earth and so it will take a bit longer to get there than it currently does if you hop onto an Easyjet flight from London to Alicante. Coupled with the necessary preparation for space travel, in order to fully take advantage of this deal you are going to need a few days off work. Luckily there is a solution. Assuming you don’t work weekends or bank holidays, in May 2018 you can take 24 consecutive days holiday by booking just 14 days off work as the chart below shows:

calendar

The only problem with this, is that the planned jaunt into space for Joe Public and Jonny Foreigner is not planned until at least October 2018.   So my advice, for what it’s worth, is perhaps to stick with your current holiday plans for 2018.  Whatever you do and wherever you go, I hope it turns out well for you all and wish you a very Happy New Year.