Elon Musk and SpaceX announce 1st tourist for ‘moon loop’

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 22, 2018

Maezawa says he is not planning to make the lunar voyage alone, but will invite up to eight artists to journey with him.

Smiling widely, Maezawa said: "Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the Moon".

Short-hop testing of the BFR's second stage, nicknamed the Big Falcon Spaceship or BFS, could begin as early as next year.

Musk said the BFR, or the Big Falcon Rocket, was still in development. "I choose to go to the moon with artists".

He will be the first person to travel to the moon since the United States' Apollo missions ended in 1972. Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire and founder of online fashion mall Zozotown.

SpaceX announced yesterday (Sept. 17) that the Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, who founded the e-commerce company Zozo, has purchased all the seats aboard a BFR vehicle that will launch on a weeklong trek around the moon as early as 2023.

"And it sounds insane but everything we've ever done has sounded insane to people, both people that love us and people that don't like us so much".

"Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the Moon", Maezawa said at SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California, in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles, late Monday.

"This has done a lot to restore my faith in humanity - that somebody's willing to do this", Musk said.

In an interview in March, Musk said the ship was now being built, adding "I think we'll probably be able to do short flights, short sort of up-and-down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year".

Musk showed off designs of the 118-metre long BFR, which will consist of the first stage with engines and fuel systems, and a second stage with the spacecraft where the passengers will ride. The rocket isn't yet ready for the human space flight yet and work is on.

The 106 metre (347 feet) long ship was first announced previous year, and Musk said the ship will contain up to 40 cabins which will have enough space for 100 people.

Musk has said he hopes to construct the first prototype by mid-2019 and then launch several tests from the company's rocket facility in South Texas. "That would be on a Dragon 2 spacecraft and a Falcon Heavy rocket, which is due to do its maiden launch this summer".

SpaceX announced it had reached an agreement to launch the tourist into space last Friday via Twitter.

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