Regarding the cost of the mission, Musk noted,  “I … can’t say the exact cost, that’s confidential. It would be comparable to maybe a little more than what the cost of a crewed mission to the space station would be.”

Currently, NASA dishes out an estimated $80 million per seat on the three-person Russian Soyuz vehicle. For SpaceX’s introductory commercial crew contract with NASA, they paid $2.6 billion, and were required to ensure a minimum of two and up to six flights to the station on the Dragon capsule, capable of carrying seven passengers at a time. That means a cost of anywhere between $1.3 billion to $433 million per flight.

Musk explained that the historic trip to the moon hopefully brings the company closer to sending humans to Mars. “This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them.”

“The goal for SpaceX, from its founding in 2002, has been to accelerate … space exploration, ultimately with the idea of a self-sustaining civilization on Mars and making humanity multiplanetary,” Musk said. “So a critical step along the way is getting to know what it’s like to have people in deep space.”

NASA released a statement on the announcement of SpaceX’s groundbreaking mission to the moon, saying they applaud their “industry partners for reaching higher.” Musk and SpaceX attributed NASA for making the mission possible.