Elon Musk: SpaceX moon mission will be livestreamed in VR -- in 5 years or so

Yes, the launch will be in 2023 at the earliest, but it's never too soon to plan.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
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This illustration shows what the BFR system might look like.


Let's hope VR systems are ubiquitous by 2023, because we're all going to want to take an eye-popping, virtual trip around the moon if SpaceX's lunar mission goes off as planned. 

Elon Musk is super-excited following Monday's announcement introducing Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa as the first paying passenger for SpaceX's mission to fly around the moon

The SpaceX founder posted a tweet Tuesday declaring the journey will be livestreamed in high-definition virtual reality.

Details are lacking, but Musk wrote, "it'll feel like you're there in real-time minus a few seconds for speed of light."

Musk replied to a question asking if SpaceX would use a relay satellite to handle a communications dead spot at the far side of the moon. "Yeah, Starlink should be active by then," he wrote. 

Starlink is SpaceX's ambitious plan for a global satellite broadband service. The company launched two prototype Starlink satellites earlier this year.

Maezawa revealed Monday that he purchased all of the available seats on the still under-development BFR spaceship that SpaceX hopes to use for the moon mission. He says he intends to take a group of artists, including musicians, architects and writers, with him on the trip. 

Musk posted an intriguing image showing a woman playing a violin in zero gravity inside the BFR spaceship with a backdrop of space behind her. This might give us a taste of what we could see by traveling along in VR, assuming Musk's promise holds. 

The BFR, intended for both Earth orbital missions and longer journeys to Mars, is under construction, but even Musk admitted the 2023 date for the lunar trip is a best-case scenario. It could take longer, which would just give VR technology even more time to evolve. 

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