On Monday it will announce 'whos flying and why.' We haven't seen SpaceX's BFR -- the rocket that it hopes will enable trips around the world, to the Moon, and, eventually, to Mars -- actually take flight yet, but the company says it has already booked a private passenger for a trip around the Moon. No one has been to the Moon since Apollo missions ended in the 70s, but now, in a "world's first" SpaceX is apparently taking reservations. Details like who is going and "why" are to be revealed during a livestream on Monday September 17th at 9 PM ET. Early last year Elon Musk said we'd see two humans take that trip at some point in 2018, but now we're anticipating a delay so that it can occur on the LA-built BFR, instead of a Falcon Heavy carrying a Dragon capsule. Musk has said the spaceship part of BFR could be ready for "short hopper flights" next year and test flights in three to four years. Interestingly, he also tweeted that what's shown above is a new version of the BFR, and in response to a tweet asking if he's the passenger, posted a Japanese flag emoji. 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. Yes
SpaceX has signed its first customer to fly on the companys huge new rocket, the BFR, the company says. The passenger will fly on the monster ship around the Moon, though there are no details yet regarding when the trip will happen. SpaceX says it will announce who is flying — and why — on Monday, September 17th. The BFR, or the Big Falcon Rocket, is the giant rocket that SpaceX is currently developing to send humans to the Moon and Mars. The BFR design, presentated by CEO Elon Musk last year, consists of a combined rocket and spaceship, called the BFS for Big Falcon Spaceship. The main rocket will have 31 main Raptor engines and be capable of sending up 150 tons to low Earth orbit, according to that presentation. In February 2017, SpaceX announced plans to send two passengers around the Moon on the companys Falcon Heavy rocket, claiming that the flight would happen at the end of 2018. SpaceX never named the passengers, and ultimately Musk admitted during the inaugural flight of the Falcon Heavy that the trip probably wasnt going to happen. Were sort of debating whether to do that on Falcon Heavy or BFR, Musk told The Verge before the launch in February of this year. It will sort of depend how well BFR development is going as to whether we focus on BFR for deep-space human flight or whether we do that on Falcon Heavy. SpaceX has signed the worlds 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 whos flying and why on Monday, September 17. Its unclear if this new passenger being announced is one of the two original passengers from the Falcon Heavy flight or a new customer altogether. Musk hinted on Twitter that the customer might be from Japan. SpaceX says it will give more details on Monday, and the company has set up a livestream for the announcement. Musk gave a detailed presentation about the design for the BFR last September, during the annual International Astronautical Congress. The presentation called for a slimmed down version of the vehicle, using 31 main engines, compared to the version Musk had pitched the year before, which would have had 42. However, on Twitter this evening, Musk confirmed that the rendering of the BFR posted by SpaceX for the announcement was a new version of the vehicle. Both the BFR and BFS are reusable and designed to use their engines to lower themselves to the ground, much like how the Falcon 9s land. Musk envisions using the BFR for setting up a Moon base on the lunar surface, as well as starting a human settlement on the surface of Mars. However, Musk also noted that the BFR could be used to launch satellites, and he even proposed the idea of using the vehicle to do point-to-point travel. Conceivably, passengers on Earth could ride the rocket to distant cities, with travel times lasting just 30 minutes for destinations on the other side of the planet. Musk noted last year that his ultimate goal is to transition SpaceXs focus from the companys current line of vehicles — the Falcon 9, the Falcon Heavy, and the Dragon spacecraft — to the BFR. All our resources will turn toward building BFR, Musk said last year. And we believe we can do this with the revenue we receive from launching satellites and servicing the space station.