The first human to fly around the moon since the storied astronauts of the Apollo era will get there on SpaceX’s next-generation Big Falcon Rocket, the company said Thursday night, further teasing an event next week that will reveal details about the launch vehicle and passenger.
“SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle,” the California-based company said via Twitter, adding that it’s “an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space.”
SpaceX will announce more details about BFR and the passenger on Monday at 9 p.m. ET.
Thursday night’s tweet, however, did include a teaser image of the rocket, which has long remained under wraps since the company announced it would undergo changes to make its production and deployment more feasible. The released image shows the sleek presence of a seven-engine, triple-fin, white-and-gray crew spacecraft racing around the moon.
Ultimately, SpaceX plans on phasing out its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket in favor of BFR, which the company hopes will not only handle payload delivery and hops to the moon, but the eventual establishment of a self-sustaining colony on Mars. Visiting Earth’s lunar companies, according to recent statements, is a major objective on the path to the red planet.
But this isn’t the first time SpaceX has teased a lunar mission: In 2017, CEO Elon Musk announced that a pair of individuals – who were never named – would orbit the moon in a Crew Dragon spacecraft after liftoff on a Falcon Heavy rocket. Earlier this year, however, Musk said the mission would likely not occur due to BFR taking Falcon Heavy’s place.