One lucky person is going to get the opportunity to make another giant leap for mankind.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX announced on Thursday that it intends to send the world’s first private passenger around the moon.
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
On its website and in a tweet announcing the new project, the company said it will reveal its chosen passenger on Monday, Sept. 17. The only hint the rest of us have to go on is a cryptic tweet from Musk of a Japanese flag emoji, Space.com pointed out.
????????— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 14, 2018
Frankly, we wouldn’t be totally surprised if the Twitter user is right and it ends up being Musk himself going on the trip. Who else can afford it? But it doesn’t seem like that decision would be good for the SpaceX brand, so it’s more likely to be someone else. Someone from Japan, perhaps?
Either way, the passenger will ride aboard SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket, the craft Musk hopes will one day lead the way for flying humans to Mars. (And they'll probably be drinking champagne.) Big Falcon is still being developed, but it is anticipated to have the most powerful rocket ever built and a ship capable of carrying at least 100 passengers at a time, according to Space.com.
According to CNNMoney, it’s unclear whether the new announcement is linked to a similar one made by the company in February 2017, in which it said two people had signed up to fly on the Falcon Heavy rocket. However, it seems those plans were abandoned earlier in 2018, making this project entirely new.
Musk said back in March that the company hopes to start test flights in 2019. So, a tourism flight may not be far off.
Musk will announce the lucky tourist’s identity on Sept. 17 via a webcast that begins at 9 p.m. EST, according to Space.com.
You can tune in by visiting the SpaceX webcast site.