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SpaceX announcement of first passenger for Lunar BFR

Capitalism in space: SpaceX will have a webcast today at 6 pm (Pacific) to announce the name of the first passenger to fly on a lunar mission using their Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

The embed of that webcast is below, so if you wish you can watch right here.

Note that my initial post mistaken said this was happening at 6 pm Eastern time. That was an error.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • mkent

    I thought the time was 6 pm Pacific. Did it move?

  • Matt in AZ

    It’s still 6pm pacific. SpaceX’s youtube link says “live in 7 hours”, and it’s almost 11am Pacific now.

  • mkent: My error. I have fixed the post and noted the error there.

  • Kirk

    Here are the three renderings released so far, all believed to be part of an animation which will be played during tonight’s announcement. As always, they likely represent the general features of the current design, but probably have a fair number of accidental omissions or instances of artistic license. When asked, Musk tweeted that the BFR booster (the BRB?) will still have grid fins, but they were accidentally left off in the images. Also, the BRB exhaust looks more like what I’d expect from RP-1/LOX than CH4/LOX. (The name might not stick, but following the FH launch, Musk said the he liked to call the booster BRB (presumably for Big Rocket Booster) since that it what it would say to its launch pad, “Be Right Back!”)

    * Full stack, side view (1276 x 2048)
    * Full stack, top view (2048 x 1152)
    * BFS around the moon (3840 x 2160)

  • Kirk

    My prediction, based on their decision to announce the lunar flight so early (what, four to five years in advance), is that the buyer is paying a very large sum up front (perhaps approaching $1B, but either refundable or exchangeable for SpaceX stock if the flight doesn’t happen by a given date) which will help fund BFR development in exchange for exclusive rights to the first crewed lunar flight. He will then go on to sell additional seats on the flight as well as create some television shows about training and preparation, and if legalities can be worked out, even have a contest or lottery to fill some seats.

    Half of me thinks, “Hey, what ever it takes to fund development of this thing.”, while the other half worries about it being turned into a circus.

  • Michael

    D. D. Harriman strikes again

  • Richard M

    You may be onto something there, Kirk.

    Well – we’ll find out in two hours.

  • Col Beausabre

    Kirk, Ya hit the nail on the head! Now the question is does the moolah go to fund BFR or to bail out Tesla?

    BTW, apparently lots of people hung onto their Pan Am “tickets” (actually it guaranteed you the right to buy a ticket – if only the NFL had paid attention they could have had PSL’s in the Seventies)

    And although he’s not Branson, Musk definitely has a PT Barnum streak, so it’s already a circus

  • Edward

    “I choose to go to the Moon.”

    What brilliance. “I” choose.

    The space community has been looking for a Kennedy moment for space travel for a long time, but rather than it coming from the U.S. government, it comes from a private citizen. This is the epitome of the idea of capitalism in space, serving We the People of the world.

  • Richard M

    Well, Kirk was mostly right.

    Whatever Maezawa has paid, it’s enough that it will “materially contribute” to the development of BFR. Has to be nine figures easy, probably closer to 10. Which, being a billionaire, he can certainly afford.

    And it does seem as if it’s as much Maezawa wanting to help fund the BFR as much as him wanting to fly on it.

    And even if Maezawa is not selling these extra seats, it certainly sounds like he will be taking the opportunity to market the heck out of the trip.

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