Japanese Billionaire to Be SpaceX’s First Passenger to the Moon

Kerry GarnerSep 18, 2018

SpaceX has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the moon and will announce details on Monday, the company said.

"Maybe we'll both be on it", Musk said with a smile.

'This is my lifelong dream'.

Japanese billionaire, entrepreneur and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, 42, announced: "I choose to go to the Moon". Musk did not name the clients previous year or say how much they would pay. Maezawa will take up to 8 artists with him on the flight.

On his Instagram account, Maezawa posted a photo of himself looking at the prototype of what is likely the rocket that will be used to launch him toward the moon.

After giving an update on the BFR's overall architectural changes (for which NASASpaceflight will publish an in-depth article later), Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and Lead Designer at SpaceX, introduced the person who purchased an entire BFR for a flight around the moon.

Shotwell estimated that the BFR will launch within a decade.

Only 24 humans have visited the Moon - all of them Americans. The outpost would serve as a stepping-off point for the lunar surface, Mars and points beyond.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said previously he hoped the rocket would be ready for a trip to Mars by 2022.

'He stepped forward, ' Musk added.

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Neither Maezawa nor Musk would disclose the price of the flight, but Musk said that Maezawa - who had been one of the two customers for SpaceX's earlier plans for a circumlunar flight on a Dragon announced almost 18 months ago, but since shelved - had already made a down payment.

'This is risky, to be clear. "This is not walk in the park here".

"When you're pushing the frontier, it's not a sure thing".

While Musk has insisted that the spacecraft is safe, he warned Monday that there "are some chances things could go wrong".

Maezawa has chartered a flight aboard the company's Big Falcon Rocket for a slingshot trip around the Moon, which is expected to take place in 2023.

Whether or not SpaceX will fly an uncrewed BFR on a lunar free return trajectory mission - flying the exact profile it will with Maezawa and his passengers - before Maezawa's mission has not yet been determined. "In order to minimize the development risk and cost, we chose to "commonize" the engine between the booster and ship", Musk said, adding that Raptor engines that are optimized for vacuum conditions could be added back in later. Last year, he said two paying tourists would circle the Moon in 2018, but those plans that did not materialize.

Read everything we know about the BFR and its spaceship design here. A 90-minute flight costs $250,000.

He has alleged that a cave diver in Thailand who helped rescue stranded boys was a 'pedo, ' smoked what appeared to be marijuana on a comedian's podcast, spooked Tesla investors with comments about the future of the electric auto maker, and admitted to exhaustion and use of the sleeping pill Ambien.

Earlier this year, on February 6, the Falcon Heavy rocket successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, launching a red Tesla Roadster driven by a Starman mannequin.

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