SpaceX is ready to send the world’s first private space passenger around the moon. The space exploration startup tweeted this morning that it had signed its first passenger up for a trip in the company’s BFR rocket.
The teasing tweet said more details will be revealed on Monday, 17th September via a live webcast that will begin at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT on Sept. 18). The tweet sent the internet ablaze with rumors who the passenger might be.
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. Find out who’s flying and why on Monday, September 17. pic.twitter.com/64z4rygYhk— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 14, 2018
The passenger could be of Japanese nationality
Twitter users queried SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk if the passenger would be him. In response Musk mysteriously tweeted an emoji of the Japanese flag.
🇯🇵— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 14, 2018
SpaceX has always been public about their dream of sending private citizens to space. Back in February 2017, the company announced that two people had signed up for a week-long around the moon mission with a launch date expected late 2018.
"We've been approached to do a crewed mission beyond the moon from some private individuals," he said at the time. "And they're very serious about it. We plan to do that, probably in the fourth quarter of next year (2018). That would be on a Dragon 2 spacecraft and a Falcon Heavy rocket, which is due to do its maiden launch this summer."
Live webcast will reveal mission details
In June this year, it was reported the mission had been postponed until 2019 at the earliest. SpaceX spokespeople told the Wall Street Journal that the mission as still going to happen but remained tight-lipped about more details. We’ll find out on Monday if the adventurous soul signed up to the BFR mission is one of the same people that was planning to go on the Falcon Heavy trip.
No other details have yet emerged about the mission, when it will take place or how much the yet unidentified passenger has paid for the privilege. The BFR planned for use in the trip, is still in development.
The rocket in combination with a spaceship capsule is being built by SpaceX with the colonization of the planet Mars in mind. But Musk has broad ambitions for SpaceX and the BFR.
SpaceX not shy about aggressive space exploration
As well as building a settlement on Mars to fulfill humanity's destiny of being ‘interplanetary’, Musk wants to offer point to point rocket travel as an option instead of commercial flights.
He has also said that eventually the fleet of SpaceX rockets will be phased out and the BFR will be responsible for all of SpaceX's ambitions. These include performing satellite launches, cleaning up space junk, and of course, taking the rich and space curious on trips around the moon.