SpaceX gets first private passenger for moon trip

SpaceX books private passenger flight around the Moon

The short message that went out Thursday night called the company's news "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space".

SpaceX has a passenger for the first private trip around the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket.

SpaceX first floated the idea of sending private people around the moon in early 2017, saying two people had "paid a significant deposit" for the mission.

The webcast is embedded below.

Details on when exactly the flight would take place are scant - as is information on when exactly the BFR will be built.

Asked on Twitter, whether he would be the passenger, billionaire Musk posted an emoji of the Japanese flag.

"We've been approached to do a crewed mission beyond the moon from some private individuals", Musk said at the time. "And they're very serious about it".

The new heavy-lift rocket that NASA is developing for deep-space missions - known as the Space Launch System - could serve as a core component of a moon trip. We plan to do that, probably in the fourth quarter of next year (2018). The plan for lunar tourism was postponed until at least mid-2019 or longer, a spokesperson told WSJ in June. Sir Richard Branson, the daredevil founder behind Virgin Galactic, said in May his company was "two or three more flights" away from its first commercial suborbital trip. Find out who " s flying and why on Monday, September 17.

The 35-story BFR will be powered by 31 of SpaceX's next-generation Raptor engines, with a rocket and spacecraft component - the Big Falcon Spaceship, or BFS. "And we believe we can do this with the revenue we receive from launching satellites and servicing the space station".

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