SpaceX to send world's first private passenger around Moon

SpaceX to send world's first private passenger around Moon

SpaceX to send world's first private passenger around Moon

When the trip goes ahead, it will be the first time someone has traveled as far as the moon since NASA's Apollo missions in the late '60s and early '70s, and also the furthest into space that a private passenger has ever traveled.

SpaceX will reveal the passenger and say when the launch will take place during an announcement Monday.

The webcast is embedded below. SpaceX spokespeople told the Wall Street Journal that the mission as still going to happen but remained tight-lipped about more details.

In February, SpaceX debuted the long-awaited Falcon Heavy, which became the world's most powerful operational launch vehicle, the report said.

The BFR is bigger than the Falcon Heavy and has its own dedicated area for crew.

When asked if he himself is the passenger, he hinted that the mystery person is Japanese by tweeting the country's flag.

The names and identities of those two tourists - and how much they meant to pay - were never revealed.

American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to explore the lunar surface in 1969, a moment seen and heard around the world when Armstrong declared "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind".

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.

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.

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".

During a speech in Australia a year ago, Musk said he was hopeful that the BFR would be able to launch and land at last two cargo ships on Mars by 2022.

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