Musk signs up first passenger for round-the-moon trip on SpaceX

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

SpaceX on Thursday 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.

To date, only 24 people have traveled to the Moon and all of them were NASA astronauts that were a part of the Apollo Program that saw some nine 3 man crews venture to our nearest celestial neighbor (three of them journeyed to the Moon more than once).

The hard-charging rocket firm, run by billionaire Elon Musk, announced the news from its official Twitter handle.

The webcast is embedded below.

The company tweeted that the mystery citizen's identity will be revealed on Monday at 9 p.m. ET.

In a recent question-and-answer session held in Madrid, SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said the company is targeting initial tests on the vehicle in late 2019 and launches as early as 2021.

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

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.

"We've been approached to do a crewed mission beyond the moon from some private individuals", he said at the time.

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.

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.

Musk described a slightly scaled-down 348-foot-tall rocket in September 2017 and announced that the private space company aimed to launch two cargo missions to Mars in 2022.

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