SpaceX plans to send a tourist on a trip around the moon aboard its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).
“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," the tweet said. The company added that it will name the passenger and their reasons for flying on Monday. "Find out who's flying and why on Monday, September 17."
It is not yet clear if the BFR voyage has any connection to SpaceX’s previous pledge to send tourists on a fly-around-the-moon mission. In February 2017, the company said two people had signed a deal to make a trip around the moon aboard SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket.
The Falcon Heavy debuted one year after that announcement was made. However, around the same time, Musk told reporters that his space company had no plans to use the world's most powerful operational launch vehicle for human space travel. Instead, Musk claimed that SpaceX had turned its attention to the BFR after deeming it to be a better fit for tourist missions.
“All our resources will turn toward building BFR,” Musk said last year, reported the Verge. “And we believe we can do this with the revenue we receive from launching satellites and servicing the space station.”
Tesla’s CEO added during a Q&A in March that he planned to begin testing the BFR sometime in 2019. According to CNN, Space X’s COO Gwynne Shotwell offered a much more conservative timeline, suggesting that it would probably launch "within a decade." (See also: Musk Succeeds with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launch.)
In 2017, Musk said the BFR consisted of a huge, 191-foot-tall rocket booster capable of sending 150 tons to low Earth orbit and a 157-foot-tall spaceship. (See also: Tesla Should Merge With SpaceX: Morgan Stanley.)