To date, only 24 humans have journeyed to the Moon. Every one of these visits took place more than four decades ago, with the most recent visit having transpired during NASA’s final Apollo mission in 1972. But soon enough, that will all change.
Last year, SpaceX announced plans to send an anonymous customer to the Moon and back. But more recently, SpaceX started teasing additional details, including a promise to announce the “anonymous” customer’s identity on the evening of Monday, September 17th.
Image Credit: SpaceX/Twitter
While the passenger’s identity remains a mystery as of this writing, what’s evident from SpaceX’s recent slew of Tweets is that they’d enjoy a comfy seat inside of SpaceX’s Dragon Crew capsule mounted at the top of the commercial space company’s upcoming BFR rocket.
Update: As of Monday evening, we learned from SpaceX that the company's first space tourist would be Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.
More importantly, however, this person wouldn’t land on the lunar surface as astronauts previously have. Instead, they’d coil around the Moon in a manner consistent with the astronauts from NASA’s Apollo 8 mission in 1968, and then they’d return safely to Earth.
Think of it like an insanely-expensive joyride; one that launches you out of Earth’s atmosphere, gives you a front-row seat to the heavens, and then brings you back to Earth in what could only be described as a billion times more thrilling than a roller coaster ride.
Citing SpaceX, this is a move that will “enable access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space.” But is that really the case? After all, traveling to space inside a rocket that burns millions of dollars’ worth of rocket fuel to escape Earth’s gravitational pull couldn’t possibly be an affordable endeavor for the everyday blue-collar worker.
Much of SpaceX’s business model in this space (pun intended) has yet to be revealed, but we’re hoping to learn about it and so much more during the live stream of the company’s public announcement. It’s scheduled to begin at 9 P.M. Eastern time, and you can watch it from the company’s official website. For your convenience, we’ve embedded the video frame below:
It should be interesting to see how SpaceX will transform the spaceflight industry, and more importantly, whether it’ll become an affordable endeavor for anyone without the occupational title of “astronaut” or equivalent.