SpaceX is really serious about taking private passengers on a trip around the Moon. The company is scheduled to announce its first client next week.
Last year, founder Elon Musk expressed the company's intentions to fly two people on a long loop to deep space and back to Earth.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, SpaceX announced on Twitter that the first private citizen has signed up to the out-of-this-world trip. No names have been given, but the company promised to reveal more details during a presentation scheduled on Monday, Sept. 17, at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
Musk also confirmed the news and even gave a hint that the first passenger would be someone from Japan.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 14, 2018
Only 42 people — including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin — has been on the Moon. The last time that a human has set foot on its surface was during the last Apollo mission in 1972.
SpaceX's BFR Flying To Deep Space
The BFR or Big Falcon Rocket is SpaceX's spaceship system that has a rocket booster that promises to be the most powerful ever built and a spacecraft that will be launched into deep space (called BFS).
Musk, in a previous interview, said that the company might begin testing the spaceship portion of the BFR by 2019.
Shotwell: think we'll be "hopping" the second stage of BFR (the BFS) late next year. #DARPA60 — Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) September 6, 2018
Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX COO, thinks that the BFR might be able to launch "within a decade."
Musk initially wanted to fly two passengers around the Moon aboard the Falcon Heavy rocket and a Dragon capsule. However, a few months later, he scrapped the original plan and opted to do the Moon flyby aboard the BFR and the BFS.
Not much is known about the spacecraft. Neither the BFR nor the BFS has been launched into orbit and the company has revealed very little information about its design and development.
SpaceX has bigger plans for the BFR. Musk noted that the BFR could also be used to launch satellites, clean up space junk, or even carry people on superfast "point-to-point" trips across Earth.
However, the main goal of the spacecraft is to help the human race become a space-faring species. One day, the BFR could be transporting humans to and from the Moon, Mars, and beyond.