Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Celia Watts

Fly me to the moon - okay, says Elon Musk

Fly me to the moon - okay, says Elon Musk

SpaceX is ready to send the world's first private space passenger around the moon.

SpaceX has a passenger for the first private trip around the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket.

SpaceX gave no further details, but said more information would follow on Monday. The tweet sent the internet ablaze with rumors who the passenger might be.

Earlier this year, Musk said the company would be able to focus its investment on the BFR, following the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy. Asked whether he'd be the first passenger, Musk-who's also the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc. -posted an emoji of a Japanese flag. Back in February 2017, the company announced that two people had signed up for a week-long around the moon mission with a launch date expected late 2018.

SpaceX announced signing up the first private moon traveler on Friday. "And they're very serious about it".

"I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and launch in about five years", Musk said. SpaceX was tight-lipped about the financial terms of the deal and the identity of the individuals. The BFR planned for use in the trip, is still in development.

"SpaceX will probably build 30 to 40 rocket cores for 300 missions over five years".

SpaceX's BFR compared to other launch vehicles.

As well as building a settlement on Mars to fulfill humanity's destiny of being "interplanetary", Musk wants to offer point to point rocket travel as an option instead of commercial flights.

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. "And we believe we can do this with the revenue we receive from launching satellites and servicing the space station".

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