Elon Musk's SpaceX to announce first tourist to Moon

Elon Musk's SpaceX to announce first tourist to Moon

SpaceX on Thursday announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being created to carry people into deep space. The tweet sent the internet ablaze with rumors who the passenger might be. Musk responded with a Japanese flag emoji, suggesting the passenger is Japanese.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that the trip would make use of a new version of the company's BFR launch vehicle.

SpaceX has always been public about their dream of sending private citizens to space.

No one has flown to the moon since the final mission of NASA's Apollo program.

In an interview in March, Musk said the ship was now being built, adding "I think we'll probably be able to do short flights, short sort of up-and-down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year". We plan to do that, probably in the fourth quarter of next year (2018).

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SpaceX now has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the astronauts living at the ISS, via regular cargo trips on its Dragon spaceship, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

In June this year, it was reported the mission had been postponed until 2019 at the earliest. Company representatives declined to offer additional details Friday.

Musk discussed updated plans for the BFR in September 2017, describing it as the one ship that will eventually replace the company's existing Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, and the Dragon spacecraft. However the passengers were never named and the flight has yet to materialize.

In February, SpaceX debuted the long-awaited Falcon Heavy, which became the world's most powerful operational launch vehicle, the report said.

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