Moon is no more our distant satellite to fly around and visit that dream place. SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard SpaceX’s BFR launch vehicle – an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of travel.
The rocket company founded by Elon Musk, plans to launch a private citizen around the moon.
The company’s announcement came Thursday night via Twitter, and it included a rendering of the spaceship that will make the voyage: the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR.
SpaceX also said that it will name the passenger on Monday and explain why that person is making the trip.
However, it’s not the first time the company has announced that it would launch a mission to fly around but not land on the moon.
SpaceX previously announced a fly-around-the-moon mission in February 2017.
The plan was to launch two private citizens (who are still unnamed) around the moon on a path similar to the one taken by NASA’s Apollo 13 astronauts. It also called for using the company’s Falcon Heavy rocket- currently the most powerful operational launch system in the world – and its Crew Dragon capsule, which astronauts are gearing up to fly inside in early 2019.
But SpaceX appears to be deviating from that plan with one less passenger, whom Musk may have hinted is Japanese, and by using BFR, which is still-being-prototyped and as-yet-unproven spacecraft.
The BFR, as Musk described it during a 2017 presentation, calls for a 157-foot-tall spaceship that will ride a 191-foot-tall rocket booster into orbit.
Together, the 35-story system is intended to launch the first crewed missions to Mars – but SpaceX not only appears eager to demonstrate BFRs capabilities, but roll out a new design of the spacecraft.
Musk confirmed the rendering SpaceX shared is a new version of the BFR. Though he gave no more details, the spaceship shown in the image appears to be more squat than the original design. It also has a large tail fin and two small wings, unlike previously shared graphics.
About SpaceX and more –
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., doing business as SpaceX, is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has since developed the Falcon launch vehicle family and the Dragon spacecraft family, which both currently deliver payloads into Earth orbit.
SpaceX’s achievements include the first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 in 2008),] the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon in 2010), the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (Dragon in 2012), the first propulsive landing for an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2015), the first reuse of an orbital rocket (Falcon 9 in 2017), and the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun (Falcon Heavy’s payload of a Tesla Roadster in 2018). SpaceX has flown 14 resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS) under a partnership with NASA.NASA also awarded SpaceX a further development contract in 2011 to develop and demonstrate a human-rated Dragon, which would be used to transport astronauts to the ISS and return them safely to Earth.
SpaceX’s Efforts –
Landmark achievements of SpaceX include:
- The first privately funded liquid-fueled rocket to reach orbit (Falcon 1 flight 4—September 28, 2008)
- The first privately developed liquid-fueled rocket to put a commercial satellite in orbit (RazakSAT on Falcon 1 flight 5—July 14, 2009)
- The first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft (Dragon capsule on COTS demo flight 1—December 9, 2010)
- The first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station (Dragon C2+—May 25, 2012)
- The first private company to send a satellite into geosynchronous orbit (SES-8 on Falcon 9 flight 7—December 3, 2013)
- The first landing of an orbital rocket’s first stage on land (Falcon 9 flight 20—December 22, 2015)
- The first landing of an orbital rocket’s first stage on an ocean platform (Falcon 9 flight 23—April 8, 2016)
- The first relaunch and landing of a used orbital rocket stage (B1021 on Falcon 9 flight 32—March 30, 2017)
- The first controlled flyback and recovery of a payload fairing (Falcon 9 flight 32—March 30, 2017)
- The first reflight of a commercial cargo spacecraft. (Dragon C106 on CRS-11 mission—June 3, 2017).
Interplanetary Transport System / BFR-
SpaceX is developing a super-heavy lift launch system, the BFR. The BFR is a fully reusable first stage launch vehicle and spacecraft intended to replace all of the company’s existing hardware by the early 2020s, ground infrastructure for rapid launch and relaunch, and zero-gravity propellant transfer technology in low Earth orbit (LEO).
SpaceX initially envisioned the ITS vehicle design which was solely aimed at Mars transit and other interplanetary uses, SpaceX in 2017 began to focus on a vehicle support all SpaceX launch service provider capabilities: Earth-orbit, Lunar-orbit, interplanetary missions, and even intercontinental passenger transport on Earth.The BFR will be the world’s most powerful rocket.
Musk’s long term vision for the company is the development of technology and resources suitable for human colonization on Mars. He has expressed his interest in someday traveling to the planet, stating “I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”A rocket every two years or so could provide a base for the people arriving in 2025 after a launch in 2024. According to Steve Jurvetson, Musk believes that by 2035 at the latest, there will be thousands of rockets flying a million people to Mars, in order to enable a self-sustaining human colony.
ALL ABOUT BFR –
The Big Falcon Rocket (officially shortened to BFR) is a privately funded next-generation reusable super-heavy-lift launch vehicle and spacecraft system in development by SpaceX. It was announced by Elon Musk in September 2017. The overall space vehicle architecture includes both launch vehicles and spacecraft that are intended to completely replace all of SpaceX’s existing space hardware by the early 2020s as well as ground infrastructure for rapid launch and relaunch, and zero-gravity propellant transfer technology to be deployed in low Earth orbit (LEO). The large payload to Earth orbit of up to 150,000 kg (330,000 lb) makes BFR a super heavy-lift launch vehicle. Manufacture of the first upper stage/spacecraft prototype began by March 2018, and the ship is projected to begin testing in early 2019.
The BFR system is planned to replace the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, as well as the Dragon spacecraft, initially aiming at the Earth-orbit launch market, but explicitly adding substantial capability to support long-duration spaceflight in the cislunar and Mars transport flight environments SpaceX intends this approach to bring significant cost savings that will help the company justify the development expense of designing and building the BFR system.
SpaceX had initially envisioned a larger design known as the ITS launch vehicle for the interplanetary portion of its spaceflight ambitions. That vehicle design was presented in September 2016 as part of Musk’s comprehensive vision for an interplanetary transport system (ITS). The ITS vehicle design had a 12-meter (39 ft) core diameter, while the BFR design was scaled down to 9 meters (30 ft), carrying only half of the payload to LEO with just 42 percent of the liftoff thrust. Furthermore, while the ITS had been solely aimed at Mars transit and other interplanetary uses, SpaceX pivoted in 2017 to a plan that would support all SpaceX launch service provider capabilities with a single set of 9-meter vehicles: Earth orbit, lunar orbit, Interplanetary spaceflight, and potentially, even intercontinental passenger transport on Earth.