SpaceX is already making headlines around the world for its efforts to make spaceflight more affordable for organizations like NASA as well as private companies, but today the company will announce something truly revolutionary. In a news conference scheduled to start at 9pm ET, SpaceX will introduce its first paying private customer who will ride a spacecraft around the Moon just for the fun of it.
The as-of-yet-unnamed patron will be paying a huge price for the privilege of traveling around the Moon, and SpaceX has a huge job ahead of it to actually make the trip happen. You can watch the entire event from start to finish right here.
“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 traveling to space,” SpaceX says in a posting of its live stream. “Only 24 humans have been to the Moon in history. No one has visited since the last Apollo mission in 1972.”
This goes without saying, but the trip isn’t exactly happening tomorrow. SpaceX is still working hard at getting its Big Falcon Rocket ready for its first test launches, and the company will need to put its launch systems through their paces well in advance of taking passengers anywhere.
The company has been racing to meet NASA’s need of a crew-capable spacecraft to take astronauts to the International Space Station and back, along with Boeing, and both companies have fallen well behind their original schedules. Nevertheless, SpaceX is pressing on, and apparently feels confident enough in its work that it is comfortable parading its first paying private space “tourist” in front of the world.
The event is schedule for 9pm ET, and SpaceX usually does a great job with its live streams so we can expect plenty of commentary and context both before and after the formal announcement.