SpaceX signs up first private moon traveler

Sep 14, 2018, 20:36
SpaceX signs up first private moon traveler

Asked whether he'd be the first passenger, Musk - who's also the CEO of Tesla - posted an emoji of a Japanese flag.

"Only 24 humans have been to the Moon in history", SpaceX said.

SpaceX will reveal more information regarding the private space flight to the Moon in a live webcast on 17 September.

This new mission, different from the one discussed by owner Elon Musk previous year, would have one person fly around the moon in SpaceX's BFR launch vehicle.

In 2009, space tourist Guy Laliberté flew to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-16, leaving from Kazakhstan.

SpaceX's tweet also included a render for a new version of the BFR vehicle.

Other non-astronauts that have flown into space include inventor Gregory Olsen and multimillionaire Dennis Tito, the first tourist in space, after he paid $20 million to spend 8 days on the ISS in April 2001.

In June, it was revealed by the Wall Street Journal that SpaceX wouldn't be sending a couple around the moon on its Dragon spacecraft later this year, a promise that was touted in early-2017. But Musk has broad ambitions for SpaceX and the BFR.

SpaceX is a key commercial partner to NASA, and is working on a crew ship that will make its first flight to the orbiting International Space Station next year, restoring access to space from USA soil for the first time since 2011, when the space shuttle program was retired after 30 years.

The BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket, is SpaceX's forthcoming spaceship system that consists of two parts: A massive rocket booster that promises to out-power any ever built, and a towering spacecraft that will vault out of the Earth's atmosphere. He called the goals at the time "aspirational". Plans for that flight were eventually delayed; it's unclear if one of the two passengers from that flight will be taking the trip on the BFR. The window for launching to Mars occurs every two years.