Today, the private space exploration company founded by Elon Musk, SpaceX, will unveil details about its plans to launch its first commercial passenger trip to the Moon.
The trip will utilise the company’s upcoming Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a major launch vehicle it hopes to use for future deep-space journeys to the Moon and Mars. It continues SpaceX’s work in reusable rocket technology, with the BFR expected to have reusable boosters and other core components. The company is also expected to announce who the first passenger will be.
Competition has begun to accelerate among US competitors to SpaceX, such as Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Both companies are also seeking to develop viable space vehicles that can make space tourism a reality. However, SpaceX’s existing launch record and profitability due to the contracts it has with the US Air Force and NASA means it is likely to be the first to breakthrough in the US market.
Ongoing development of the rocket means that there is likely no set date for the launch of this trip. But, testing for the BFR is expected to begin in mid-2019.
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Kai looks at security and political turbulence in the emerging market economies and also serves as a publisher with The Daily Brief.