Take me to the moon, but not this year: SpaceX delays tourism plans

Elon Musk's SpaceX announced in February last year that, by the end of 2018, it would fly two space tourists who paid around the Moon and back to Earth. However, those plans have changed.

As reported on Monday Wall Street Journal the flight is now postponed until at least mid 2019; SpaceX will not say when it will take place, although he insists it will happen.

This is actually the confirmation of something we already knew more or less. The original plan was for SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket to fuel the mission, but Musk said a few months ago that the company would probably use its "Big F-ing Rocket" (BFR) instead.

The BFR is still in development, so that would explain the delay. Musk said in March it could debut in March 2019. The BFR is the rocket that SpaceX wants to use to get to Mars, and to make extremely fast trips from Earth to Earth.

However, the WSJ also notes that SpaceX faces an uncertain demand for Falcon Heavy, and that the company projects a significant drop in launches next year due to fewer contracts for launches of Large satellites: smaller satellites can be sent to orbit with smaller SpaceX, a more proven Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX's latest satellite launch, its eleventh mission this year, once again using a Falcon 9, took place at Cape Canaveral early Monday. The client there was the satellite operator SES, with the payload configured to deliver television and data services to clients in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.


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