Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Elon Musk Teases SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket Spacecraft

Elon Musk Teases SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket Spacecraft

SpaceX has announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being created to carry people into deep space.

However, he didn't reveal the identity of the mystery passenger but has promised to provide details via a press conference scheduled for Monday, September 17, at the company's Hawthorne headquarters.

"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 traveling to space", the company said in a tweet.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted a picture of a Japanese flag.

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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 biggest clue in this regard is that the launch is set to take place on board the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which is thought to be still several years away from being ready for liftoff.

SpaceX has said it will also reveal why the person is going. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

The BFR was first announced in 2016, touted as the most powerful rocket in history, even more potent than the Saturn V Moon rocket that launched the Apollo missions five decades ago.

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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At the time, SpaceX said two people signed a deal with SpaceX to make a trip around the moon aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket. The spacecraft is meant to buzz around the moon without landing.

Read everything we know about the BFR and its spaceship design here.

A Martian mission is far more complicated than a back-and-forth trip around the Moon. United States astronauts generally made the trip in about 3 days.

Virgin Galactic, founded by British tycoon Richard Branson, and billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's rocket company Blue Origin, are working on trips to the edge of space that could offer tourists a chance at weightlessness for 10 minutes or so. Musk will soon announce who that first person is. The window for launching to Mars occurs every two years.

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