SpaceX gets first private passenger for moon trip

Olive Hawkins
September 14, 2018

The company announced plans to send two private passengers around the Moon in February 2017, with take-off planned for this year.

In a step that commercialises space travel, United States private space firm SpaceX on Friday announced that it will send the first private passenger to Moon and will reveal his identity on Monday. This lunar mission - a flyby, not a landing - represents "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space", SpaceX said in a tweet. 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.

However, the company has remained mum about those plans in recent months.

More details would be made available on Monday, it said.

Only 24 humans have been to the Moon so far, and no one has visited since the 1972 Apollo mission.

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SpaceX has established its bona fides in the aerospace business by transporting supplies to the International Space Station and by completing the tricky maneuver of recovering rockets after launch so that they can be reused.

The new strategy is to still fly around the moon, but using an even bigger SpaceX rocket still in development that has its own dedicated passenger ship.

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by billionaire Elon Musk, announced late Thursday that it has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the moon in its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

During a speech in Australia previous year, Musk said he was hopeful that the BFR would be able to launch and land at last two cargo ships on Mars by 2022.

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