Elon Musk Introduces SpaceX’s First Passenger Who Will Fly To The Moon

Dave Mosher  Business Insider Elon Musk the founder of SpaceX and the rocket company’s chief designer

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.

The last time astronauts orbited-not landed-on the moon was during the Apollo 13 mission in 1970.

"By the way, if you should hear from me please say yes and accept my invitation", he said. I choose to go to the moon with artists!' Besides himself, Maezawa plans to select six to eight artists to accompany him on his journey around the moon. On coming back to the Earth, these artists will be expected to create masterpieces inspired by the Moon which in turn would "inspire the dreamer within all of us". "This is not us choosing him". "This is risky, to be clear", Musk said.

Musk has previously said he wants the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024, though his ambitious production targets have been known to slip. He wouldn't disclose the price Maezawa is paying for the ride, but did say that the billionaire is funding "a material percentage" of the BFR system's estimated $5 billion development cost.

But given that SpaceX nearly always meets ot exceeds its plans - even if their target date is off - the intent is clearly focused on making this mission happen.

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

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After revealing the name of the space tourist, Musk failed to say how much money the man paid for the privilege. SpaceX expects Maezawa, 42, to be the first private passenger to make the journey that only two dozen astronauts have been on during the Apollo era that ended 46 years ago. It became the first private company to launch a spacecraft into orbit and safely return it to Earth in 2010, and the first commercial enterprise to fly to the space station in 2012 on a supply mission.

Now the Elon Musk show returned to the sprawling SpaceX headquarters outside Los Angeles, where the company will - whether intentionally or not - provide a prime-time diversion to the troubles surrounding its celebrity chief executive by providing details about its long-anticipated moon shot. This makes easy for Zozotown's customers to fit into its clothes and has made the brand immensely popular.

The mission is slated to launch as soon as 2023, though Musk said he can't be sure about that timeline yet. Last year, he spent $110.5 million to buy a painting by Jean-Michel Pasquiat.

"If I'm going to go to space, I'd rather go as far as I can", he said. Its last rocket, the Falcon Heavy, had its first successful launch almost five years later than planned.

SpaceX added that it was "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of travelling to space".

But it looks like that lull may be coming to an end thanks to the efforts of SpaceX and its Big Falcon Rocket-the same rocket it hopes will one day carry people to Mars. Aerospace experts who follow Musk and SpaceX's activities suggest there could be more iterations before the company's first lunar voyage lifts off the launch pad.

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