SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

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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.

SpaceX announced signing up the first private moon traveler on Friday.

The company will host a media event on Monday, Sept. 17 and other than state that it will be held at their headquarters located in Hawthorne, California and that Musk would "announce the world's first private passenger scheduled to fly around the Moon aboard SpaceX's BFR launch vehicle" - little else has been released.

In 2009, space tourist Guy Laliberté flew to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz TMA-16, leaving from Kazakhstan.

The journey will see SpaceX put its new reusable BFR rocket through its paces.

The announcement is a giant leap toward commercial space travel, with SpaceX, Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos all pursuing the goal of commercial space flight.

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter that the trip would make use of a new version of the company's BFR launch vehicle.

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".

Musk announced in February 2017 that his company had enlisted two private citizens to fly on a trip around the Moon in 2018.

The 31-engine BFR is part of the company's grand plan for travelling between planets, and will replace its current suite of rockets like the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

Two more cargo missions would follow in 2024 to provide more construction materials, along with two crewed flights, according to earlier reports.

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