Elon Musk’s SpaceX, demonstrating its founder and chief executive’s bent for showmanship, announced that it had signed up the first private passenger seeking to fly around the moon. But the company provided no timetable or other details about the plan.
In a message on Twitter Thursday night, the closely held Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said the mission is slated to use its largest rocket, dubbed the BFR, which is still under development and, according to industry officials, may be at least a year or two from an initial test flight.
In the message, however, SpaceX described the latest plan as “an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space.” The identity of the passenger and other specifics are expected to be revealed Monday.
Thursday’s two-sentence statement—which caught a number of space experts off guard—suggests that Musk hopes to demonstrate momentum and attract more public attention to plans for his mammoth rocket and its associated spacecraft, intended to be bigger than a superjumbo airliner. As described previously by Musk, the BFR would be larger and more powerful than any rocket in history.
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