SpaceX signs up mystery passenger for first trip around moon

Posted September 14, 2018

Musk left a clue possibly regarding the flyer's nationality, tweeting the flag of Japan when asked if it was him that would be going on the trip.

Why it matters: One lucky passenger, presumably of Japanese descent, will board SpaceX's BFR launch vehicle for an unforgettable trip around the Moon.

SpaceX has announced plans to take a passenger on the first ever tourist expedition around the moon.

The big reveal on who it is - and when the flight to the moon will be - will be announced Monday at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

"SpaceX has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle - an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of travelling to space". Speculation swirled following the tweet, leading some to believe it might be SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son.

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In 2009, space tourist Guy Laliberté flew to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-16, leaving from Kazakhstan.

However, it was not clear whether the BFR tourism mission has any link to an announcement SpaceX made in February 2017, the CNN reported.

The announcement is a giant leap toward commercial space travel, with SpaceX, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos all pursuing the goal of commercial space flight.

The first ship carrying crews could arrive two years later, he said.

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. 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. The window for launching to Mars occurs every two years.