Taking a break from the controversies surrounding the operations of Tesla (TSLA), CEO Elon Musk has come up with some interesting update on his interplanetary mission. In what could be a prelude to his dream project of landing humans on Mars and colonizing the red plant, Musk said his company SpaceX has signed the first private passenger for its round-the-Moon trip.
Terming the latest development “an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space,” an official tweet from the company Friday said its BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) launch vehicle, a combination of rocket and spaceship, will be used for the crewed flight around the Moon. It also hinted that identity of the passenger would be revealed on Monday in an official webcast. The BFR, currently in advanced stages of development, is claimed to be almost fully reusable and the most powerful spacecraft ever manufactured.
Musk this week announced his company SpaceX has signed the first private passenger for its round-the-Moon trip
Meanwhile, responding to a follower’s query on Twitter about the passenger’s identity, Musk posted an image of the Japanese flag, triggering speculations. The current flight schedule is slightly different from the one announced by the company last year – involving the Dragon crew capsule and Falcon Heavy rocket for which two passengers had signed up.
Though the original plan was to launch the mission before the end of 2018, sources say it is likely to be pushed further to next year. The last time humans visited moon was in 1972 when Apollo 17 carried astronauts Gene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt and Ron Evans to the moon.
Despite being under constant scrutiny for the inconsistencies in his statements, Musk’s trend-setting ventures in the electric car and space segments are catching the fancy of industry peers. Soon after SpaceX created history by taking space mission to the private realm, aviation major Boeing (BA) launched its own mars program, giving inspiration to others.
The troubled Tesla stock suffered losses in recent weeks following Musk’s going-private rant and a webcast in which he smoked weed. Having lost about 10% so far this year, the stock closed the last trading session slightly lower but recovered in early trading Friday.