SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

September 14, 2018 by Kerry Sheridan
Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk, pictured in September 2017 speaking below a computer generated illustration of his new rocket, says he wants to enable space travel for "everyday people"

SpaceX on Thursday announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being designed to carry people into deep space.

"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 ," the company said on Twitter.

SpaceX gave no further details, but said more information would follow on Monday.

This is not the first time the California-based company, headed by Internet entrepreneur and Tesla electric car CEO Elon Musk, has touted plans to send tourists around the Moon.

In February, 2017, SpaceX announced it would send the world's first two space tourists around the Moon in late 2018.

That plan called for them to ride on a Dragon crew vehicle, similar to the that SpaceX routinely sends loaded with supplies to the International Space Station.

They would have blasted off aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket.

However, the company has remained mum about those plans in recent months.

The names and identities of those two tourists—and how much they intended to pay—were never revealed.

SpaceX declined an AFP request for more details, but said further information would follow Monday at an event lasting from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm (0030 GMT to 0200 GMT).

Footprints on the Moon

Humans have not set foot on the Moon since the final Apollo mission in 1972, capping an era of US national pride.

American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to explore the lunar surface in 1969, a moment seen and heard around the world when Armstrong declared "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Only 24 people in history have ever been to the Moon.

US President Donald Trump has championed plans to put boots on the Moon again, as NASA works on building a lunar gateway that would serve as a launching point for missions heading even further into , such as asteroids or Mars.

SpaceX is a key commercial partner to NASA, and is working on a crew ship that will make its first flight to the orbiting International Space Station next year, restoring access to space from US soil for the first time since 2011, when the was retired after 30 years.

Boeing is also hard at work on its crew vehicle, with pioneering flights planned for 2019 as well.

SpaceX currently has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the astronauts living at the ISS, via regular cargo trips on its Dragon spaceship, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

The BFR is SpaceX's newest rocket, a super powerful launch vehicle with 31 engines and the capacity to lift 150 tons into space.

During a speech in Australia last year, Musk said he was hopeful that the BFR would be able to launch and land at last two cargo ships on Mars by 2022.

"I feel fairly confident that we can complete the ship and launch in about five years," Musk said.

Explore further: SpaceX delays plans to send tourists around Moon: report

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jays0
4 / 5 (2) Sep 14, 2018
"Only 24 people in history have ever been to the Moon."

Only 12 have walked on it: Two men from each of Apollos 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17.

poksnee
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 14, 2018
Musk is a bozo. He is a lying, corrupt leech who milks tax payers.
djc42
4.4 / 5 (8) Sep 14, 2018
Um , its a private company Puck smee. Also employs 7000 people. valued around 24 billion even with its latest woes .
Spacebaby2001
2.7 / 5 (7) Sep 14, 2018
MmmmMMM he can keep milkin me (a tax payer) all he wants if it means 50+ more successful launches.

Not sure how hes lying because you don't specify, you just say it. Seems like hes pretty transparent with the steps hes laid out to achieve his goals, and seems like hes doing a pretty swell job at meeting those steps.

Now this is just conjecture but I figure the struggles hes having with Tesla are because that market is crazy entrenched with an ass backwardness culture seeing their grip on the world dying off as their black gold blood becomes antiquated. Feel free to poke holes in that statement I have no sentiment attached to it. Maybe hes just a s****y terrestrial businessman I donno
ShotmanMaslo
3.7 / 5 (7) Sep 14, 2018
Musk is a bozo. He is a lying, corrupt leech who milks tax payers.


He provides a service to the government and significantly cheaper than the alternatives. You have no idea what you are talking about.
rrwillsj
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 14, 2018
Considering the "quality" of the rich & infamous celebrities who vam afford those cruise tickets? Can we refuse to let them back on Earth?

cough! {kardashians} cough!
carbon_unit
not rated yet Sep 14, 2018
"Take us back to Earth, BFR."
"I'm sorry, Donald. I'm afraid I can't do that."
TorbjornLarsson
1 / 5 (1) Sep 14, 2018
the "quality" of the rich


Not significant, only that they contribute resources.

Also, why pick on the very rich (or very poor)? There has been no social liberal economy - which works best so far - that has been without the economical tails. The interesting thing is what happens with the distributions, such as when the 60s dichotomy between "developed" and developing" nations disappeared.

Where you end up in life is according to statistics (AFAIK) very much random, no rich or poor or even in between has much earned the outcome.
rrwillsj
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 15, 2018
Well Tb_L, I am a contrarian. I take great personal satisfaction in tormenting the rich & powerful. Ridiculing their scale of entitlement.

Unlike the altright fairytails who terrorize those they perceive as weaker. Safe to attack and bully without repercussions. Instead they are lauded by pseudo-evangelists for violence against those people singled out for persecution . And celebrated by the fake-libertarians for oppressing the undeserving under-folk.

Tb_L, Trying to justify the ugly reality of fascist oppression and enforcement of a caste-ridden society does you no credit.
Eikka
1 / 5 (2) Sep 16, 2018
Um , its a private company Puck smee.


That gets public funding and government loans on the cheap. Elon Musk "owes" every American roughly $50 - what have most people gotten for that? Pretty much nothing. Your return of investment would actually be greater giving the money to the local hobo than to Elon Musk, but that's not your choice to make.

As for the space rockets, it's telling that they're sending the tourists first. It's saying they really have no legitimate business in space: were the settlers on the Mayflower tourists on a cruise holiday? No, they were risking life and limb because they saw opportunities that were greater than their individual lives. Here you got rich people being shot around the moon for fun, with the vague promise of future returns from "technological kickbacks" - but really, if there was any point in going to the moon, people would be going there like the pioneers.
Eikka
1 / 5 (3) Sep 16, 2018
He provides a service to the government and significantly cheaper than the alternatives.


Not really.

The diffence is that the government is demanding/buying different things from the other companies. ULA etc. have to maintain strategic launchpads and launch readiness for the military, and other services and functions that SpaceX simply does not.The government is paying the difference in the price of the launches.

And, NASA is actually paying SpaceX way above cost, and SpaceX is jacking up the prices for the launches coming up in 2020-2024.

It's another one of Musk's lies and spin: he's still claiming to lower the price of access to space, while increasing launch prices by 50% to "reflect a better understanding of the costs involved after several years of experience".
Eikka
1 / 5 (3) Sep 16, 2018
What SpaceX says their launch costs are don't translate to actual launch prices paid by NASA, and that's a thing people often ignore.

The actual cost to launch for NASA using SpaceX's services are still roughly the same as the Space Shuttle at $30,000 per lb, thanks to the price hikes and extra "rewards" tacked on to the launch contracts.

ShotmanMaslo
4 / 5 (4) Sep 16, 2018
Quite a collection of nonsense, Eikka. ULA does not offer anything significant that SpaceX does not offer, too. Falcon Heavy can put even heavy military sats into difficult orbits, and has such contracts, too. SpaceX is just cheaper, period. In fact ULA aims to match low SpaceX prices several years from now with their Vulcan rocket, tacitly confirming their reality. Of course, by that time SpaceX will be somewhere else, with rapid reusability.

SpaceX did increase Dragon 2 price somewhat, but even then it is the least expensive capsule available.

The actual cost to launch for NASA using SpaceX's services are still roughly the same as the Space Shuttle at $30,000 per lb


Wrong, it is $3000 per kg, an order of magnitude less. $62 million for 20 tons.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Sep 16, 2018
Willis the megalo-psycho-path peeps
Well Tb_L, I am a contrarian. I take great personal satisfaction in tormenting the rich & powerful. Ridiculing their scale of entitlement
One rich guy reads his post and giggles.
Tb_L, Trying to justify the ugly reality of fascist oppression and enforcement of a caste-ridden society does you no credit
haha you're like 4 feet tall arent you willis? Little bald guy? Lisp?
https://youtu.be/Gtl1X-CDBzI

'Hes so cute.'
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Sep 16, 2018
The diffence is that the government is demanding/buying different things from the other companies. ULA etc. have to maintain strategic launchpads and launch readiness for the military, and other services and functions that SpaceX simply does not
"Falcon Heavy to launch military satellites by 2020. SpaceX's Falcon Heavy has won its first classified national security payload launch, proving that the company was able to demonstrate that its new rocket is reliable enough to ferry military satellites to space."

"SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered away from Florida's Space Coast on Monday on its first top-secret satellite delivery for the NRO"

"SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base"

-Flexibility, reusability, reliability, quick turnaround. This is the preferred milspec spacecraft.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Sep 16, 2018
"In a surprising move, and after just one flight, the Air Force announced it has certified Falcon Heavy for military launches... The Air Force said in a press release that more than one launch provider put in a bid. Although United Launch Alliance was not named in the announcement, it is implied that SpaceX's newly-debuted Falcon Heavy beat out the competition's tried-and-true Delta IV Heavy—the only other heavy-lift vehicle certified by the Air Force."

"...SpaceX expects that in the future it might have as many as 50 first-stage boosters. If that happens, it will need significantly larger facilities to process the boosters and any other part of the rocket SpaceX is able to reuse."
stripeless_zebra
1 / 5 (3) Sep 16, 2018
Wow! After years of spreading that bullshit propaganda, sucking billions of dollars from the taxpayers, making nothing but empty promises there are still hordes of retarded assholes who think he's a genius.
poksnee
1 / 5 (2) Sep 16, 2018
stripeless_zebra

You are exactly right it is amazing and sad.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (2) Sep 16, 2018
Per gutless_jackass:
Wow! After years of spreading that bullshit propaganda, sucking billions of dollars from the taxpayers, making nothing but empty promises there are still hordes of retarded assholes who think he's a genius.
Boy am I glad youre just a pinhead troll!

Actually I dont give a shit what pinhead trolls post.

Re the article, one can see that this tech has been a long time in devt and is very mature
https://www.youtu...HpUAuWgk

-And when the whole process is fully automated (and I mean fully, from AI design, AI planes, ships, trucks, and trains transporting and delivering, to AI assembly and fitout) the price will drop precipitously.
You are exactly right it is amazing and sad
Of course you agree - youre the same pitiful pokesnot troll.
poksnee
1 / 5 (3) Sep 16, 2018
Only an idiot would fall for Musk bullshit.
stripeless_zebra
1 / 5 (1) Sep 16, 2018
Per gutless_jackass:
Actually I dont give a shit what pinhead trolls post


Nevertheless, thank you for having interest in my post.

2014 - 98% of US will be covered by Tesla Supercharging stations
2015 - Tesla cars would reach 620 miles on a single charge, they will be "fully autonomous" in 3 years
Model 3 will sell for $35K, actually it sells for $60K+
Humans on Mars by 2024
First manned mission to Moon in 2018
first manned Mars mission in 2019
Tesla Semi hauling 80,000 pounds for 500 miles on a single charge, then recharge 400 miles of range in 30 minutes, first vehicle delivery in 2020 - experts say: Elon's full of crap.
To list just a few and now a Moon vacation for the working people! LOL!
But how about his fulfilled promises? Yeah right, pepperoni pizza delivery to the ISS. And now Elon told NASA that SpaceX will charge 50% more starting next year. Cheap space exploration, eh? Russkie are laughing hard.
ScottyB
not rated yet Sep 20, 2018
Im guessing Poksnee is actually Jeff Bezos :O

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