SpaceX gets first private passenger for moon trip

SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

SpaceX has announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being created to carry people into deep space.

SpaceX has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the moon and will announce details on Monday, the company said.

SpaceX livestreamed the big news after teasing the announcement last week and calling it "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space". His tweet of a Japanese flag emoji, fueled speculation that the mystery passenger is a Japanese businessperson.

While the BFR has not been built yet, Musk has said he wants the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024, though his ambitious production targets have been known to slip.

He is expected to lift-off on the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a launch system unveiled by Mr Musk in 2016.

It also said it would reveal "why" - implying the mission may have a goal other than simply satisfying the whim of a wealthy client - as was the case with the first space tourist, Dennis Tito, an American businessman who in 2001 paid some $20 million to fly on a Russian spaceship to the International Space Station. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

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On Monday, Mr Musk unveiled new artist impressions of the BFR and the spaceship which will carry passengers around the Moon.

SpaceX announced it had reached an agreement to launch the tourist into space last Friday via Twitter. Next July will mark the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing by Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

SpaceX in February transfixed a global audience with the successful test launch of its Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world.

Read everything we know about the BFR and its spaceship design here.

A Mars trip could take 3 to 6 months, including several fuel-ups. U.S. astronauts generally made the trip in about 3 days. Blue Origin's price has not been revealed.

Musk touched on one of his favorite themes, a call for humanity to become a multi-planetary civilization, as he kicked off the announcement.

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