SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space transportation company, announced on Thursday that it has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the moon aboard its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) launch vehicle plan, a massive launch vehicle being designed to carry people into deep space.
On Twitter, the company stated, “SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle – an important step towards enabling access for everyday people who dream of travelling to space.”
SpaceX provided no further details except announcing that it would make public the passenger’s identity on Monday, 17th September. Additionally, Musk tweeted the Japanese flag emoji when asked about the traveler.
SpaceX is a crucial commercial partner to NASA. It is currently working on a crew ship that has plans to make its first flight to the orbiting International Space Station next year, and serve to restore access to space from the US since the retirement of the space shuttle programme in 2011. Furthermore, at present, SpaceX has a US$1.6 billion contract with NASA to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station on its Dragon spaceship, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
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The completion of the BFR is yet to be wrapped up with construction reportedly underway. The BFR, SpaceX’s newest rocket, has the capability of 31 engines and the capacity to lift 150 tons into space.
US President Donald Trump has espoused plans to send humans to the moon again, while NASA attempts to build a lunar gateway as a launching point for missions heading further into deeper space.