Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Science | By Celia Watts

SpaceX gets first private passenger for moon trip

SpaceX gets first private passenger for moon trip

SpaceX/TwitterSpaceX's rendering of a Big Falcon Rocket spaceship carrying a passenger around the moon.

The announcement was made at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Sounding a note of caution, the broadcaster adds that BFR has yet to be built, with Musk admitting that the company is "not 100% certain we can bring this to flight". He said he wanted the artists "to see the moon up close, and the earth in full view, and create work to reflect their experience". Elon Musk confirmed that the company has already done a few tests on key components of the rocket such as pressure tests of the propellant tanks and ignition tests on the Raptor engines. The SpaceX rocket was first announced in 2016, and is more powerful than the Saturn V Moon rocket which launched the Apollo missions. Musk said Maezawa's payment is big enough to "have a material effect on paying for cost and development of BFR", which could cost as much as $5 billion overall.

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic are also battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, but neither have so far announced plans as ambitious as SpaceX.

SpaceX, the Elon Musk company that is trying to make commercial space travel a reality, has announced its first Lunar BFR customer: bilionaire Yusaku Maezawa from Japan. This is my lifelong dream.

The reusable 118-meter (387-foot) rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship.

He said: "In 2023, as the host, I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this missions to the Moon". The BFR's principal objective is to carry settlers and their stuff to Mars, 100 passengers at a time.

Could there be more than one billionaire aboard SpaceX's upcoming lunar fly-around mission?

He said then that two people who know each other approached the company about a weeklong flight to the moon and back.

The trip is expected to take several days, and is slated for 2023.

Musk said: "The goal for SpaceX, the reason for creating SpaceX, was to accelerate the advent of humanity becoming a space-faring civilisation; to help advance rocket technology to a point where we could potentially become a multi-planet species and a true space-faring civilisation".

SpaceX has said it will also reveal why the person is going.

No. Unlike the Apollo missions of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the SpaceX rocket will not be making a lunar landing.

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