SpaceX Has Signed Its First Passenger to Fly Around the Moon

SpaceX is hoping to follow the success of its Falcon 9 rocket with a new generation Super Falcon Rocket

SpaceX is hoping to follow the success of its Falcon 9 rocket with a new generation Super Falcon Rocket

The BFR, which Elon Musk said can carry up to 100 people when it was first touted a year ago, will fly around the moon as part of the personal trip.

If all goes well, this unnamed passenger will be the first person to visit the moon since NASA's Apollo mission in 1972. In its tweet Thursday, SpaceX shared what Musk confirmed on Twitter was a new rendering of the BFS.

The identity of the passenger is set to be announced on a webcast on the company's website Monday, September 17 at 6pm PT. 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.

Now, the Hawthorne, Calif. -based company says it's ready to unveil the name of the first person to take the trip and the reason for the journey.

At the time, Musk said the pair approached SpaceX about sending them on a weeklong flight and paid a "significant" deposit for the trip.

The BFR (also known as the Big Falcon Rocket) is SpaceX's upcoming two-stage reusable spaceship system that will weigh 9.7 million pounds and be capable of taking a 330,000-pound payload to Mars and lower-Earth orbit (LEO).

Two more cargo missions would follow in 2024 to provide more construction materials, along with two crewed flights, according to earlier reports.

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.

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.

In an interview in March, Musk said the ship was now being built, adding "I think we'll probably be able to do short flights, short sort of up-and-down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year".

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