SpaceX signs up first private moon traveler

SpaceX books private passenger flight around the Moon

SpaceX has signed up its first passenger for a trip around the moon

SpaceX announced it has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard the company's BFR launch vehicle.

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.

The lunar mission will take place on the company's planned Big Falcon Rocket, a massive launch vehicle SpaceX is developing to make the trip to the moon and Mars.

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

The person's identity will be revealed on Monday, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said in a tweet.

The webcast is embedded below.

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Asked on Twitter, whether he would be the passenger, billionaire Musk posted an emoji of the Japanese flag.

But during a Falcon Heavy press conference earlier this year, Musk told reporters that, for the time being, SpaceX had no plans to certify the Falcon Heavy for human spaceflight.

SpaceX declined an AFP request for more details, but said further information would follow Monday at an event lasting from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm (0030 GMT to 0200 GMT). However the passengers were never named and the flight has yet to materialize.

The 35-story BFR will be powered by 31 of SpaceX's next-generation Raptor engines, with a rocket and spacecraft component - the Big Falcon Spaceship, or BFS.

Its design was first presented almost a year ago, and the concept boasted a single system that included a booster and a ship that could travel to the moon and Mars.

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.

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