Elon Musk’s Big Falcon Rocket: what you need to know

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 19, 2018

At the unveiling, Musk said Maezawa will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which is still in development. Maezawa was one of those two, and so now he's set to fly around the Moon a few years later than planned. However, Musk said that rocket would not be certified to carry people, which ruled out a round-the-moon trip on a Falcon Heavy.

Musk is also chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc.

Could there be more than one billionaire aboard SpaceX's upcoming lunar fly-around mission?

Maezawa founded Japan's largest online shopping mall, Zozotown, according to Forbes. The company's shares fell as much as 4.7 percent after the news and closed down about 2 percent.

But the unveiling, in the shadow of the engines of two massive and gleaming rockets, was also a testament to Musk's belief in making humans a multi-planet species.

Before the annoucnement tech billionaire Elon Musk gave details about the ambitious project, revealing in full how the shuttle would loop around the Moon.

Maezawa will invite six to eight artists of different professional and personal backgrounds - artists who represent the whole of humanity - to join him on the lunar flyby mission... with the only stipulation to their involvement being that they create works thereafter that "inspire the dreamer in all of us".

'They will be asked to create something after they return to Earth. "But he's been pretty efficient, more efficient than I expected", Cunningham said. "Please don't say no", Maezawa said. "This is no walk in the park", Musk said of the mission. And you certainly can't decide basically on what he says.

"All right. Maybe we will both be on it", Musk said to cheers and applause.

Musk, 47, made it clear before the private passenger event that crewed spaceflight for NASA remains SpaceX's top priority. He sent out a series of tweets of appreciation for the agency, including one in response to Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

NASA has also hired SpaceX and Boeing to develop commercial space trips from the US.

According to Musk's presentation [PDF] a year ago, the mighty BFR will stand 118 metres tall when erected on its launchpad, and will be able to lift 150 tons into low Earth orbit with the help of a massive central booster, making it the most powerful rocket ever to fly.

The era of space tourism began in 2001, when California businessman Dennis Tito paid for a journey on a Russian rocket to the International Space Station.

NASA is shooting for its own flyby of the moon, with a crew, around 2023.

However, Musk used social media to drop hints ahead of the announcement.

He added: "It's not 100% certain that we succeed in getting this to flight".

Yusaku Maezawa, 42, who runs Japanese clothing shopping site Zozotown, is set to travel on a Big Falcon Rocket spaceship that is now being developed, the USA space company said. He didn't discuss the other person.

Maezawa approached SpaceX with his idea for the trip and the desire to invite artists whom he respected. It also has a forward moving wing near the nose, Musk wrote on Twitter. "He chose us. He is a very courageous person to do this".

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