SpaceX signs up mystery passenger for first trip around moon

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The space exploration startup tweeted this morning that it had signed its first passenger up for a trip in the company's BFR rocket. When asked if Musk would be the person aboard the flight, he responded simply by posting an emoji of a Japanese flag. He also revealed in another tweet that the rendering of the BFR spacecraft was new.

The Falcon Heavy debuted one year after that announcement was made.

While SpaceX is still planning to take the two tourists, who paid a "significant deposit" for the opportunity, the trip will be "postponed until at least mid-2019 and likely longer".

The 31-engine BFR is part of the company's grand plan for travelling between planets, and will replace its current suite of rockets like the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

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If the project is successful, it would mark the first time someone has been to the moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

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".

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

Thursday night's tweet also included a new image of the Big Falcon Rocket, which has long remained under wraps since the company announced it would undergo changes to make its production and deployment more feasible. "And we believe we can do this with the revenue we receive from launching satellites and servicing the space station".

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