SpaceX changes plans to send tourists around the moon

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Subscribe

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX said it has signed the first private moon traveler, with some changes to its original game plan.

The big reveal on who it is — and when the flight to the moon will be — will be announced Monday at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

It's not the same mission SpaceX founder Elon Musk outlined last year. The original plan called for two paying passengers to fly around the moon this year, using a Falcon Heavy rocket and a Dragon crew capsule.

At the time, Musk said the pair approached SpaceX about sending them on a weeklong flight and paid a "significant" deposit for the trip.

The new strategy is to still fly around the moon, but using an even bigger SpaceX rocket still in development that has its own dedicated passenger ship. And now, it appears there will be only one person aboard.

Given that this new BFR rocket, as it's dubbed, has yet to be built, the flight presumably is at least a few years off.

SpaceX put out the teaser via Twitter late Thursday, and Musk also tweeted out the news. Company representatives declined to offer additional details Friday.

Musk's ultimate goal is to colonize Mars. This lunar mission — a flyby, not a landing — represents "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space," SpaceX said in a tweet.

On its website, SpaceX is touting the "first passenger on lunar BFR mission," implying there will be more.

It would be humanity's first lunar visit since 1972. Twenty-four NASA astronauts flew to the moon from 1968 through 1972, and only 12 of them strolled its dusty surface. Next July will mark the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing by Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

___

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Show Comment

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine