Japanese Billionaire Will Be the First Private Passenger of SpaceX's Falcon Rocket

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 21, 2018

Elon Musk's company, SpaceX, announced on Tuesday that Japanese online fashion tycoon, Yusaku Maezawa, will be the Big Falcon Rocket's first private passenger, according to the BBC.

The head of the company SpaceX Elon Musk presented the first tourists that will be sent on a journey around the moon.

Meazawa said he plans to bring between six and eight artists along with him-the idea being that they'll be inspired to share the trip with people on Earth in ways the less-artistic among us never could.

SpaceX put out the teaser via Twitter late Thursday, and Musk also tweeted out the news.

The billionaire says that he is not going on this lunar trip alone, but that he is going to invite around 8 artists to come with him.

"I love art. And I'm very much looking forward to seeing what different artists getting together could bring to life", he said. A Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, says he'll go.

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

And the 2023 date, by the way, is far from set in stone; a lot of development and testing work will have to go well for SpaceX to hit that target, Musk said.

The reusable 387-foot rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship, and its development is expected to cost about $5 billion, Musk said.

Interestingly, we're about to enter a roughly 10-month period that will mark the 50-year anniversary of not just the lunar landing, but a series of five Apollo launches in quick succession that led to the most famous, Apollo 13.

The average distance from Earth to the moon is about 237,685 miles (382,500 kilometers). A total of 24 NASA astronauts-all white men-voyaged to the Moon during the Apollo era of the 1960s and '70s.

The identity of the traveler will be revealed at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, during an event Monday evening.

On plans to send "space tourists" to the moon SpaceX said in early 2017.

Maezawa's trademark defiant but disarming style may be rooted in his start as a musician, playing drums in indie rock bands. In 2012, he started the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation to support young artists.

In 2016 he sold $250 million worth of stock so he could buy more art.

Last year, Maezawa dropped $110.5 million on a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, the highest ever price paid at auction for a work by an American artist. He also suggested that Musk should join the mission as a fellow passenger. He said then that two people who know each other approached the company about a weeklong flight to the moon and back.

It is not clear how much he has paid for the trip.

The first space tourism flight conducted by SpaceX will take place aboard the Big Falcon Rocket, which so far has only been shown in designs and images, and which may not be ready to fly a human crew sooner than 2023.

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