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SpaceX says it has a customer for its flight around the moon

The company said it would reveal the identity of the passenger at an event on Monday.
Image: SpaceX
A Falcon 9 SpaceX heavy rocket lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Feb. 6, 2018.John Raoux / AP file

SpaceX’s moon mission is back on.

The company announced on Thursday that it had signed a private passenger to take a trip around the moon, indicating that the company’s delayed plans were back on track.

The company said it would reveal the identity of the passenger at an event on Monday.

“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,” the company said in a Tweet.

SpaceX has yet to launch a crewed mission into space, with its first planned to take place in 2019.

Titled the “Lunar BFR Mission,” SpaceX’s plan is to use its massive 350-foot “BFR,” Big Falcon Rocket, for the company’s first trip around the moon. The rocket is still under development. The spaceship, able to transport around 100 passengers, was previously touted by SpaceX as capable of traveling to and from Mars.

SpaceX originally announced a commercial lunar trip in Feb. 2017 using a Falcon Heavy rocket and Dragon crew capsule. SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk said at the time that the company had been approach by two people who had paid “significant deposits” for the trip. The company said it planned to launch the trip before the end of 2018.

Those plans were pushed back in June, according to the Wall Street Journal.

SpaceX said it will reveal further details about the mission at an event at its headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California, which will be livestreamed from the company’s website on Sept. 17 at 9 p.m. ET.

Musk has said he created the company with the goal of aiding in the creation of a self-sustaining presence of human civilization on Mars. The company, founded in 2002, places a heavy focus on enabling private citizens to transport to and live on other planets outside of Earth.

Musk appeared to offer a hint on Twitter as to the passenger's identity, responding to a question about whether he would go on the trip with a Japanese flag emoji.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.