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Private Space Firm SpaceX Will Soon Send First Private Passenger To Moon

The new heavy-lift rocket that NASA is developing for deep-space missions -- known as the Space Launch System -- could serve as a core component of a moon trip.

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia

In a step that commercialises space travel, US private space firm SpaceX on Friday announced that it will send the first private passenger to Moon and will reveal his identity on Monday.

The tourist will fly in the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) being designed to carry people into deep space, the Elon Musk led company said in a tweet.

“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 travelling to space.

“Find out who’s flying and why on Monday, September 17,” the tweet said.

The BFR will be used to explore Mars — a goal that Musk hopes to accomplish by 2022.

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket (VOA)

“SpaceX will probably build 30 to 40 rocket cores for 300 missions over five years. Then the BFR takes over and Falcon retires. Goal of BFR is to enable anyone to move to Moon, Mars and eventually outer planets,” Musk had said in May.

Only 24 humans have been to the Moon so far, and no one has visited since the 1972 Apollo mission.

However, it was not clear whether the BFR tourism mission has any link to an announcement SpaceX made in February 2017, the CNN reported.

At that time, SpaceX said two people signed a deal with SpaceX to make a trip around the moon aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket. SpaceX was tight-lipped about the financial terms of the deal and the identity of the individuals.

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The Moon. Pixabay

In February, SpaceX debuted the long-awaited Falcon Heavy, which became the world’s most powerful operational launch vehicle, the report said.

But during a Falcon Heavy press conference earlier this year, Musk told reporters that, for the time being, SpaceX had no plans to certify the Falcon Heavy for human spaceflight.

Instead, Musk said, SpaceX would turn its focus to developing the BFR, which he deemed a better option for tourism missions.

Also Read: SpaceX Launches Communications Satellite

In December 2017, US President Donald Trump also issued a directive to “lead an innovative space exploration programme to send American astronauts back to the moon, and eventually Mars”.

The new heavy-lift rocket that NASA is developing for deep-space missions — known as the Space Launch System — could serve as a core component of a moon trip. (IANS)

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SpaceX Launches 60 Satellites to Provide Internet Service

SpaceX is the private rocket company of Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk

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A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket, with a payload of 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network, lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 during a time exposure at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 23, 2019. VOA

A SpaceX rocket has launched 60 satellites into orbit, which will be used to provide internet service from space. The rocket was launched Thursday night from Cape Canaveral in the southeastern U.S. state of Florida.

It had been originally scheduled to launch last week, but was postponed because of high winds over the Cape and the need for a software update.

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A SpaceX rocket has launched 60 satellites into orbit, which will be used to provide internet service from space. VOA

The Starlink internet service will go into service only after hundreds more satellites are launched into orbit and activated. SpaceX is the private rocket company of Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk.

ALSO READ: Elon Musk’s SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellites, Eyes Global Internet Coverage

Musk said he saw Thursday’s launch as “a key stepping stone on the way towards establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon.” (VOA)