SpaceX announces new plan to send one tourist around Moon

Jan Cross
September 15, 2018

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

SpaceX has announced plans to take a passenger on the first ever tourist expedition around the moon. Speculation swirled following the tweet, leading some to believe it might be SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son.

The company also has a contract to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station.

The announcement is a giant leap toward commercial space travel, with SpaceX, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos all pursuing the goal of commercial space flight.

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.

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The BFR is bigger than the Falcon Heavy and has its own dedicated area for crew. Neither the company nor Musk tweeted about the timing of the trip.

They would have blasted off aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket.

He introduced the BFR, composed of a rocket and spaceship, in 2017, saying it was aimed at allowing people to colonise Mars and that the company wanted to land two cargo ships on the Red Planet in 2022.

"We've been approached to do a crewed mission beyond the moon from some private individuals", he said at the time. 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.

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