In moves typical of his publicity-seeking style, Musk, who is also the billionaire chief executive of electric auto maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), has already teased a few tantalizing details about the trip and the passenger's identity, but left major questions unanswered. The BFR is central to SpaceX's plans of eventually putting people on Mars for the first time, but first of all, they need to prove that the thing actually works.
Elon Musk's SpaceX has been talking up its plans to shoot tourists around the moon since early 2017.
"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 travelling to space", SpaceX said on its website.
He had said that the trip would happen this year and would not involve a landing, but rather a long loop around the moon. Those tests will take the form of progressively higher up-and-down flights at an earthly launch facility.
About one year after that, in February of this year, SpaceX debuted the long-awaited Falcon Heavy, which became the world's most powerful operational launch vehicle.
A Japanese internet entrepreneur is to fly round the moon as the first space tourist on a SpaceX rocket.
Space X hasn't revealed any details about the passenger who will ride the BFR around the moon.
NASA is shooting for its own flyby of the moon, with a crew, around 2023.
It also aims to build a staffed gateway near the moon during the 2020s. The BFR ship won't be making a stopover on the lunar surface, though.
By comparison, the Falcon Heavy is 70m tall and consists of a central rocket core surrounded by two boosters, each with a diameter of 3.66m.
He recently criticized analysts during a Tesla earnings conference call, labeled a British diver in the recent Thai cave rescue drama as a pedophile, took a hit off an apparent marijuana-tobacco joint during a podcast interview and tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla private but then announced the deal was off. The rescuer sued Musk on Monday in U.S. District Court in California for defamation.