Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Elon Musk names space tourist to launch on BFR moon mission

Elon Musk names space tourist to launch on BFR moon mission

In typical fashion for any company owned by Elon Musk, they've chose to do so by blasting a single person - the world's first private passenger, around the moon and back to test the rocket's capability for far space travel.

The identity of the traveller will be released at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, during an event Monday evening.

"SpaceX has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle - an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space", SpaceX says in a posting of its live stream. Musk hinted that the mystery person may be from Japan, tweeting a Japanese flag emoji.

The as-of-yet-unnamed patron will be paying a huge price for the privilege of traveling around the Moon, and SpaceX has a huge job ahead of it to actually make the trip happen. According to Forbes magazine's rich list, there are 34 Japanese-born billionaires in the world, though many of them may be too old to take the trip.

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018.

SpaceX reminded us only 24 humans have been to the moon and no one has visited since NASA's final 1972 Apollo mission.

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Falcon 9 is a prime example, although BFR is different in the sense that SpaceX has the luxury of starting from a slate that is far from blank.

This is not the first time the California-based company, headed by Internet entrepreneur and Tesla electric auto CEO Elon Musk, has touted plans to send tourists around the Moon. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk outlined a somewhat different mission previous year.

The BFR spacecraft's shape is reminiscent of the space shuttle, the bus-like United States spaceships that carried astronauts to space 135 times from 1981 to 2011.

Russian and Chinese companies are also working on space tourism plans.

Next year, SpaceX - which has received billions in NASA funding to ferry supplies to the ISS and build a crew vehicle - hopes to become the first private company to send astronauts to the space station.

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