Elon Musk’s SpaceX Registers First Passenger for Round-the-Moon Trip

Muriel Hammond
September 15, 2018

"Find out who's flying and why on Monday, September 17", the company tweeted late Thursday.

The flight on its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) would be "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of travelling to space", the aerospace company wrote on Twitter. SpaceX has invested almost $1 billion into the 27-engine rocket.

The launch plans appear to have changed since Musk announced previous year a mission to transport two paying passengers aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket and Dragon crew capsule to the moon.

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

It's one small announcement for SpaceX, one potentially giant leap for space tourism. Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos's space venture, has plans to start selling tickets for suborbital space trips in 2019, with tickets expected to cost more than $200,000. It's slated to eventually replace SpaceX's other rockets, the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon, being more affordable to build owing to its integrated design.

The BFR is SpaceX's newest rocket, a super powerful launch vehicle with 31 engines and the capacity to lift 150 tons into space. He also revealed in another tweet that the rendering of the BFR spacecraft was new.

Musk described a slightly scaled-down 348-foot-tall rocket in September 2017 and announced that the private space company aimed to launch two cargo missions to Mars in 2022.

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

The names and identities of those two tourists - and how much they meant to pay - were never revealed. The window for launching to Mars occurs every two years.

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