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Watch SpaceX reveal BFR mystery moon passenger

Yusaku Maezawa will take a trip aboard the Big Falcon Rocket, still in development.


SpaceX will send its first passenger around the moon in a Big Falcon Rocket (seen here in its original form).

SpaceX screenshot by CNET

SpaceX has finally revealed who it's sending to the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket. 

Elon Musk's rocket company SpaceX reveals mystery moon passenger, and he's a billionaire Monday evening. It's Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.  

You can watch the announcement below:

"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. Find out who's flying and why on Monday, September 17," the company tweeted Thursday.

After people responded with questions, Musk weighed in and confirmed that the render of the Big Falcon Rocket, which is still in development, is new and "intentionally" designed to resemble one seen in a classic Tintin comic.

Asked if he himself is the passenger, he hinted that the mystery person is Japanese by tweeting the country's flag.

For all the rocket trips into space in recent decades, no human has traveled into lunar orbit (let alone onto the surface of the moon) since NASA's Apollo missions ended in 1972.

SpaceX has established its bona fides in the aerospace business by transporting supplies to the International Space Station and by completing the tricky maneuver of recovering rockets after launch so that they can be reused. But, along with companies like Virgin Galactic and Stratolaunch, it's also blazing a trail toward a new era of commercial spaceflight.

And its ambitions extend even further. Musk has designs on sending spacecraft to Mars and establishing a colony there.

As for the moon, Musk had hoped to sent tourists there later this year, but the date has been delayed, The Wall Street Journal reported in June.

SpaceX didn't respond to a request for additional comment.

First published Sept. 14, 6:23 a.m. PT.
Update, Sept. 17, 5:31 a.m. PT: Added background information.
Update, Sept. 17, 4:20 p.m. PT: Adds more information about the livestream Monday evening.
Update, Sept. 17, 7:13 p.m. PT: Adds name of SpaceX's BFR passenger. 

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