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

Who Is SpaceX's Mystery Moon Passenger

"All of that noise in the background, that is the sound of fantastic things happening", NASA astronaut Victor Glover said.

A total of 24 NASA astronauts - all white men - voyaged to the Moon during the Apollo era of the 1960s and '70s.

In 2016, Musk predicted that one of his Dragon crew capsules would land on Mars this year - although that particular project was abandoned. He lives in Houston and has visited the SpaceX headquarters in California. "This is no walk in the park", Musk said of the mission. "That is the intent of BFR - to make people excited about the future".

"I think, overall, It's going to be great to inspire others", said Tracy Lamm, the chief operating officer at Space Center Houston. "We better get that flight right".

Maezawa referred to Earth's longtime love affair with the moon, Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", and Van Gogh "Starry Night", and other works of art that have been inspired by the moon, "our planet's constant partner". "I choose to invite artists from around the world on my journey". "For me this project is very meaningful", Maezawa said at a news conference Monday.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the trip will take four or five days.

Maezawa is a rock musician, online fashion mogul and, more recently, a high-rolling art collector. "And what will they create?"

Maezawa has an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.

The Japanese billionaire has made a down payment for the mission, but the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Maezawa made his fortune by founding the wildly popular shopping site Zozotown.

See ya up, there Mr. Maezawa!

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SpaceX/TwitterSpaceX's rendering of a Big Falcon Rocket spaceship carrying a passenger around the moon.

The BFR will eventually replace Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, but not until all of SpaceX's customers are on board, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in April.

"How many people would've looked at SpaceX in 2008 and imagined that in 2018 we'd be where we are?" Yeah, him. You know. Him.

Elon Musk is now not the only one with a lot riding on this mission. SpaceX hasn't yet launched any humans into space, though it has spent years working toward that goal. Since then, NASA has relied on Russian Federation to ferry astronauts to the space station. The launch is scheduled to happen in 2023.

The plan is to ready it for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024.

Musk showed off designs for the 118-meter long BFR, which will consist of a first stage with engines and fuel systems, and a second stage with the spacecraft where the passengers will ride. The first portion of the system has already been built, Musk said.

Although the design for the exterior has been altered since then, Musk said on Monday that SpaceX still only has "some concepts" for the interior of the ship.

In 2002, Musk founded SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company now valued at over $20 billion.

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

It's one of the most critical steps in getting space tourism to become a viable industry.

Short sightseeing trips to space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket are likely to cost around $200,000 to $300,000, at least to start, Reuters reported in July.

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