SpaceX to announce private moon flight passenger

Katie Ramirez
September 18, 2018

SpaceX released this dramatic illustration of its BFR spacecraft with the moon.

Those comments add additional color to the updated narrative gradually trickling out of SpaceX as the company pushes towards a finalized "flight design" for the Mars-bound launch vehicle and spaceship, a critical step that must precede integrated design reviews and flight tests.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has so far failed to reveal anything about the identity of the mystery passenger, other than posting an emoji of the Japanese flag on Twitter last week.

Maezawa, a 42-year-old from Japan, is a billionaire who founded Zozotown, an online retail shop.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced Monday night that entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa would be the first private person to fly solo around the moon aboard the company's Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) launch vehicle.

Let's keep in mind a private tourist visited the International Space Station in 2002 at a cost of $20 million (£15.2 million, AU$28 million).

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It's not clear whether the BFR tourism mission has any link to an announcement SpaceX made in February 2017.

Two high executives announced departures from Tesla, and the diver sued Musk on Monday. He said he would be soliciting requests from the world's leading creative people to travel with him on the endeavor, which he is calling #dearMoon.

The last time astronauts orbited-not landed-on the moon was during the Apollo 13 mission in 1970. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

The images of the BFR show a rocket with fins on the side.

Now featuring myriad new features like small canards, a trio of larger wings (two featuring a flexible, hinged design), the return of the 2016 Interplanetary Transport System's elegant bow windows, and an extraordinarily intriguing business end with no vacuum-optimized Raptor engines, SpaceX is clearly still iterating on the design of the rocket it hopes will - eventually - enable widespread and relatively affordable crewed flights to Mars. 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.

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