Elon Musk unveils first tourist for SpaceX 'Moon loop'

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The Big Falcon Rocket will be almost 400 feet long and equipped with a reusable booster rocket that will produce 200 tons of thrust.

The event was held at the company's Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters, conveniently located next to a design shop for Tesla, Musk's other company.

SpaceX is now prototyping the spaceship and other BFR hardware inside a 20,000-square-foot tent at the Port of Los Angeles - at least until a much bigger permanent facility is completed.

"Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the Moon!" the Japanese entrepreneur proclaimed.

"This is unsafe. This is not a walk in the park", Elon Musk warned at a crowded press conference at the rocket maker's headquarters near Los Angeles International Airport.

The mission in question is planned for 2023 and would be the first lunar journey undertaken by humans since 1972, when the final Apollo mission took place. While the trip to the moon is, in and of itself, a fairly bold undertaking, realistically it's just the first step towards Musk's ultimate goal of being the person that facilitated humanity's move to living on two separate planets.

SpaceX said its moon flight will launch via an as-yet-unbuilt rocket, named the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

"Ever since I was a kid I have loved the moon", Maezawa said.

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China is one of Apple's largest markets, and the tech giant said increasing tariffs on Chinese goods could harm its business. The trade war between America and China has escalated, fuelling fears that the global economy could be dragged down.

But it is reliant on a rocket that has not been built yet, and Mr Musk cautioned: "It's not 100% certain we can bring this to flight".

Musk has not revealed how much his "Lunar BFR Mission" will cost in the long run, but Maezawa surely won't have a hard time footing the bill.

Prior to the announcement on Monday, Musk took to Twitter to show off two new images of the BFR.

About one year after that, in February of this year, SpaceX debuted the long-awaited Falcon Heavy, which became the world's most powerful operational launch vehicle.

Mr Musk has said he wants the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024.

And the 2023 date, by the way, is far from set in stone: A lot of development and testing work will have to go well for SpaceX to hit that target, Musk said.

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

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