Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Japanese billionaire to be first tourist to Moon: SpaceX

Japanese billionaire to be first tourist to Moon: SpaceX

The trip is expected to take several days, and is slated for 2023.

SpaceX plans a lunar orbit mission.

In 2017, Mr Musk announced that he would be sending two paying passengers on a loop around the Moon - which was to have launched as early as this year.

Maezawa, a 42-year-old art collector and entrepreneur who founded Japan's largest online fashion retailer, could be the first private passenger to make the trip around the moon.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa speaks at a press event in California to announce his solo rocket trip.

FILE PHOTO: A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018.

Maezawa has plenty of money to devote to this moon shot. "I choose to go to the moon". On board the vehicle will be Maezawa as well as six to eight artists he will select through a process yet to be determined.

Envisioning the entire experience on the lines of an art project - #dearMoon - SpaceX has also created a website that went live right after the announcement.

Space X to announce who will fly around the moon
The BFR which some believe stands for Big Falcon Rocket , can carry up to 100 people according to Space X CEO Elon Musk. Also unknown is how much the amateur astronaut will pay for the trip.

SpaceX gave no details of the flight but said it would be "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space".

Yusaku Maezawa said his heart was already racing just thinking about the trip.

Musk has not revealed how much his "Lunar BFR Mission" will cost in the long run, but Maezawa surely won't have a hard time footing the bill.

Musk touched on one of his favorite themes, a call for humanity to become a multi-planetary civilization, as he kicked off the announcement. He said about BFR, it's "making people excited about the future - about getting up in the morning". The new design looks a bit like a streamlined, futuristic version of a NASA space shuttle. No one has been there since an Apollo mission in 1972. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

The spacecraft will continue on toward the Moon, powered by its own engines.

Musk says the BFR will act more like a sky diver than an airplane.

Falcon Heavy's maiden flight was shown as part of SpaceX's evolution towards BFR. The BFR's principal goal is to carry settlers and their stuff to Mars, 100 passengers at a time. It also has a forward moving wing near the nose, Musk wrote on Twitter.

At this year's South by Southwest hypefest in Austin, Texas, his Muskiness predicted that the first BFR flight would take place in 2019, although these would at first be strictly up and down takeoffs and landings to test out the system, so the 2023 date is flexible.

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