Japanese businessman to become first private moon tourist


Elon Musk's SpaceX has named Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as the aerospace firm's first paying passenger for its much-hyped Moon voyage.

Asked why the company made further changes, Musk said he "did not like the aesthetics" of the previous version.

Earlier Maezawa was in the news when he bought a painting worth $110.5 million, by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat while at an auction in NY.

The exact price that Maezawa paid has not been released, although he says that it will be free for the accompanying artists.

"I love art and I look forward to seeing what different artists working together [can] bring to life", Maezawa added.

And if you were wondering, "We'll do a bunch of test launches before having any people on board", Musk said.

Nevertheless, Musk said the Japanese billionaire actually chose his company for the Lunar mission, and not the other way around.

"The first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard BFR is fashion innovator and globally recognized art curator Yusaku Maezawa", SpaceX confirmed on Twitter. BFR will be a massive beast standing nearly 387-feet tall, about the same height as the Saturn V rocket NASA used to go to the moon. The moon's orbit is, on average, 238,855 miles (384,400 km) away.

Maezawa, 42, will be the first lunar traveler since the last US Apollo mission in 1972. Twenty-four NASA astronauts flew to the moon from 1968 through 1972, and only 12 of them strolled its dusty surface.

NASA is shooting for its own flyby of the moon, with a crew, around 2023. The space agency also aims to build a staffed gateway near the moon during the 2020s.

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While much attention has been focused on Mars, space industry experts say the moon could serve as a first step to future missions.

But it's not clear when space tourism might become available for "everyday people". A year later, he paid more than $110 million auction for another piece by the same artist.

Maezawa's journey to the Moon - scheduled to start in 2023 - is likely to last for about a week.

SpaceX has finally revealed who it's sending to the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket.

It's not the same mission SpaceX founder Elon Musk outlined previous year. You have to be pretty loaded to score a tourist spot on a spaceship.

SpaceX is already making headlines around the world for its efforts to make spaceflight more affordable for organizations like NASA as well as private companies, but today the company will announce something truly revolutionary.

Musk's ultimate goal is to colonize Mars.

He explained: "They [artists] will be asked to create something after they return to Earth".

The CEO of SpaceX, Musk is also the CEO of Tesla, and has recently been the subject of controversy after alleging that a cave diver who rescued stranded boys was a "pedo".

Before Monday's announcement, Musk last publicly described the BFR and showed renderings of the system at the 2017 International Aeronautical Congress.