SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer and space transport company founded by tech billionaire Elon Musk, ultimately has its sights set on colonizing Mars, although the company’s next big step on the way there is taking tourists to the moon. And you might be able to go too, provided you have a VR headset in the next five years.

Musk tweeted yesterday that the company would be livestreaming the upcoming moon mission in “high def VR,” which he says will be transmitted in near real-time, of course accounting for the ~238,000 miles the signal will need to travel to reach Earth.

While the tech billionaire is famously tight-lipped about the specifics of his future projects such as Neuralink, the company working on an implantable brain-computer interface dubbed a neural-lace, Musk revealed in an interview with podcaster and comedian Joe Rogan that the moon mission will cost $5 billion, and is slated to launch as early as 2023.

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Musk says video streaming from the moon to Earth will be handled by Starlink, a constellation of satellites currently in development by SpaceX that will be used to service both Earth and extraterrestrial communications. Musk expects the moon’s Starlink cluster to be active by launch, which will ensure full signal coverage.

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese fashion mogul, is the first passenger slated to make the moon trip on the company’s Big Falcon Rocket, which will also presumably carry the VR video capture device—whatever that will be five years from now (we’re certainly hoping for more than monoscopic 360 video).

SpaceX has carried out similar project to engage us Earth-bound folk, such as livestreaming the view from Musk’s personal Tesla Roadster, which was shot into space aboard the Falcon Heavy rocket bound for Mars’ orbit. While some may criticize the move as blatant marketing stunt, reigniting the general public’s fascination with space travel is an important step to the company’s future colonization efforts.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • FireAndTheVoid

    This is awesome! I will be scheduling my entire day around this event.

    On a side note, I saw an Ars Technica commenter suggest this several hours before the Tweet. Is that where Elon got the idea from?

    • Maybye week around this 5day trip? ;P

      • FireAndTheVoid

        Yes, I’ll be in VR for 5 straight days!

        On a more serious note, most of the trip is in transit. It will take less than 4 hours to complete the loop around the moon.

  • Sandy Wich

    What a gud guy, I’ll be watching as long as I don’t get hit by a bus in the next few years

  • JJ

    Welcome to the future! congrats everyone were almost there, just don’t die in the next few years

  • Xron

    5Billion for launching a rocket that will fly around the moon, seems kinda expensive oO

    • FireAndTheVoid

      I expect that a fair amount of that 5 billion is due to initial research and development. Once the rocket is put into normal operation, those costs will be significantly less.

      • Xron

        Ye, agree with that.

    • Hymen Cholo

      It will be paid for by his other rockets, which will be commissioned to fly stuff to the ISS and put satellites in orbit.

    • Jack Liddon

      $5 billion to design a new rocket, a spaceship, launch systems, life support, training, certification from NASA, etc, seems like a low estimate.

      • Get Schwifty!

        IKR…. in what reality is 5 Billion for going around the moon and back costly….

        • Caven

          Yeah, for some perspective, developing a rocket to take passengers around the moon and actually launching it won’t cost much more than the money paid to buy Oculus and Minecraft. Being able to take people to the moon and back on the sort of money that buys a small hardware developer and a one-hit-wonder game company would be damn near a miracle.

    • jj

      haha seriously?

      you must not be up to date on what the plans are for these rockets… these advancements are what’s taking the human race from one planet to multiple. This solidifies our chances of survival past anything we have had before.

      Not to mention the BFR/BFS budget is less than 5% of SapceX overall budget, and all this is funded by someone whos willing to pay for this experience.

      It’s remarkable whats go on, and its so fucking funny people like you still want to critique it. If everyone was like you, we wouldn’t have any technology due to your outlook.

  • Ragbone

    This will be amazing, but…will they censor UFOs like the ISS does?

  • Armand LePrince

    so cool ! So we will be able to see a billionaire pee like any anyone else, in real time and 360°

    • ArmandLePrinceIsGay

      …or not.

      I hate shit posts like yours, why would you degrade such an awesome thing by making toilet and barnyard humor jokes? That’s literally your only shareable thought towards this epic news, is that you want to watch him pee….

      Nobody would care if you killed yourself.

      • Armand LePrince

        Are you homophobic ? Anything against gay people ?
        you need to relax a bit. And explain how putting a 360° camera in a ship is “epic”.

        • nebošlo

          I think you may wish to look up what a strawman argument is, so you avoid embarrassing yourself in the future.

          • Armand LePrince

            no need to quote in order to argue. Don’t you think so ? Oh sorry I hurted your homophobic cousin.

          • cefizelj gnom

            I think you may be having a stroke. Good luck with that.

        • ArmandLePrinceIsGay

          oh, ok! you really are just bat shit crazy then…
          Especially after looking at your post history, it’s clear you spend long hot evening in the barn. Where you lay in the straw, sucking every donkey dick you can get your lips on.

          • ArmandLePrinceIsGay


          • Armand LePrince

            so crude words on your mouths. Not reflecting your real through I hope. Otherwise I would be very worried about your mental health. Are you ok ? Try to breath a little. It’s the wonderful world of freedom (speech) !

  • Andrew McEvoy

    Now that would be all kinds of awesome! Make it so Elon.

  • HybridEnergy

    Elon is my home boy

    • jj

      i love elon.
      And i loved Neil degrasse Tyson’s view on him smoking weed. He basically said elon’s doing more for the world than anybody has before, to criticize him over cannabis does him a dis justice.

      • HybridEnergy

        Yep, I don’t give a crap if he smokes, he’s a tech tycoon beast. The kind of inventor we haven’t seen anymore in the late 19th century anymore. He could have ran with the money when he got his wealth and done nothing like most billionaires. He doesn’t really smoke weed anyway, he had a hard time inhaling that shit on the show.

        • jj

          yeah exactly!

        • Joshwa Sanders

          IDGAF if he tokes up morning, noon, and night.

          • HybridEnergy

            I might, not in moderation pot heads look completely fucking fried , lazy, and useless. Like alcohol, scotch enthusiasts are awesome…drunks are not. No reason to smell like weed skunk everyday.

  • Smokey_the_Bear

    5 billion is roughly what Elon thinks it will cost a build the the whole rocket, including all the research and development. The moon mission (minus the cost of all the R & D) is likely going to be around 500 million. Which is likely what the Japanese guy will end up paying.

  • I really hope I get proven wrong on this, but I don’t think SpaceX is going to get anywhere near the Moon with a human being, much less colonize it. It’s taken them over a decade just to reach low earth orbit, and still no human test pilots. The real test of their dedication will come when they start to loss human life. Space travel is insanely dangerous, and well a government organization can handle the loss of life, a civilian one can not. A few deaths could do more damage then a few lost billion dollars.

    Even if the loss of life does not deter them, the move from orbit to the moon is an exponential one in difficulty. If it’s taken them over 10 years to get to orbit, it should easily take them at least 10 more to get to the moon. If Elon Musk dies of natural causes during that time, most of the internal drive of SpaceX will go with him. If the company isn’t financially sound by then, his money won’t be around to keep it afloat. It’ll get gobbled up by the military-industrial complex, sold off to appease shareholders, and SpaceX will be no more.

    Even if Elon is around, most of his money comes from Tech, which is a very volatile industry. New giants are born all of the time, and old ones fall hard (Yahoo? MySpace?). This seems like a race against time with all of the cards stacked solidly against him. Even with the smartest people in the world working for him and more money the GOD, I don’t like his odds.

    • Byaaface

      First point: it didn’t take them 10 years to get to orbit, it took 6 years from founding the company (starting at nothing) to launching Falcon 1 which was the first private orbital rocket.

      To say they have only made it low orbit isn’t exactly fair, as numerous payloads have gone far further. Notably the Tesla Roadster, that as I type is currently flying towards the Mars.. Furthermore, as a launch provider, their rockets are only meant to send payloads out to a low earth orbit and btw is the hardest part.

      SpaceX, as a result of its partially resuable rockets, has immensely profitable launches and has basically dropped the floor beneath the existing launch providers. ULA, which is essentially was a joint monopoly between Boeing and Lockheed Martin has no way to compete on price until they can build a resusable rocket. The main competition faced by SpaceX will likely be Blue Origin, which is working on a fully resusable rocket as well.

  • MOtion sickness everyone