SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

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"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 space", the tweet said.

SpaceX announced past year that it planned to send two unidenified private citizens on an around-the-moon mission in late 2018. "No one has visited since the last Apollo mission in 1972".

The hard-charging rocket firm, run by billionaire Elon Musk, announced the news from its official Twitter handle.

In a tweet Thursday night, SpaceX announced its plans to name the first private person to take a journey around the moon - and why.

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The webcast is embedded below.

More details would be made available on Monday, it said. It's slated to eventually replace SpaceX's other rockets, the Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon, being more affordable to build owing to its integrated design.

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

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.

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Musk responded to questions from Twitter users following the announcement, saying that the rocket is still in development and has been "intentionally" created to resemble one seen in a classic comic book series, "The Adventures of Tintin". These include performing satellite launches, cleaning up space junk, and of course, taking the rich and space curious on trips around the moon.

Musk described a slightly scaled-down 348-foot-tall rocket in September 2017 and announced that the private space company aimed to launch two cargo missions to Mars in 2022.

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".

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