Elon Musk's SpaceX to announce first tourist to Moon

Ismael LynchSep 14, 2018

Elon Musk's rocket company has signed up its first passenger for a flight around the moon, taking a giant leap towards commercialising space travel.

SpaceX is set to announce the first private passenger to fly around the Moon on one of its spacecraft, the company tweeted Thursday.

But Musk later hinted that the passenger could be Japanese by tweeting the country's flag when asked if he was the one being sent.

Who will be flying and why will be known on Monday, September 17 at 6 pm PT, added in the tweet.

However, the company has remained mum about those plans in recent months.

Only 24 people in history have ever been to the Moon.

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.

It would be humanity's first lunar visit since 1972.

In December 2017, US President Donald Trump also issued a directive to "lead an innovative space exploration programme to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars".

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".

Boeing is also hard at work on its crew vehicle, with pioneering flights planned for 2019 as well.

SpaceX has a passenger for the first private trip around the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket.

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. We plan to do that, probably in the fourth quarter of next year (2018).

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