Fly me to the moon - okay, says Elon Musk

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Only 24 humans have been to the Moon so far.

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Elon Musk's rocket company has signed up its first passenger for a flight around the moon, taking a giant leap towards commercialising space travel.

SpaceX is ready to send the world's first private space passenger around the moon.

Musk left a clue possibly regarding the flyer's nationality, tweeting the flag of Japan when asked if it was him that would be going on the trip. SpaceX will hold the identity of its passenger from the public until Monday, September 17th.

However, the company has remained mum about those plans in recent months. "No one has visited since the last Apollo mission in 1972", it added.

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The company has stated that more details about the event's activities will be announced closer to the event itself and that it would last for about an hour-and-a-half (from 5:30 p.m.to 7:00 p.m. PDT).

The new strategy is to still fly around the moon, but using an even bigger SpaceX rocket still in development that has its own dedicated passenger ship.

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".

SpaceX now has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the astronauts living at the ISS, via regular cargo trips on its Dragon spaceship, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

The tourist will fly in the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) being created to carry people into deep space, the Elon Musk led company said in a tweet. We plan to do that, probably in the fourth quarter of next year (2018).

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