SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer founded by billionaire Elon Musk, is reportedly postponing plans to fly space tourists around the moon.
“A new timetable for the flight—now postponed until at least mid-2019 and likely longer—hasn’t been released by Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the formal name of the closely held company. The delay comes amid SpaceX’s own projections of a nearly 40% drop in launches next year from as many as 28 anticipated for all of 2018,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Thomas Mueller, SpaceX’s Chief Propulsion Technology Officer blames the sharp decrease in launches on a lack of industry-wide product knowledge.
“People don’t think it’s serious enough yet to figure out how to use it.”
James Gleeson, a spokesperson for the space transportation services company, confirmed the delay to reporters and assured a launch will take place in the future.
“SpaceX is still planning to fly private individuals around the moon and there is growing interest from many customers,” Gleeson wrote.
The delay comes amid the return of three members of International Space Station Expedition 55 on Sunday morning following a 168-day mission, which received two SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft shipments.