Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Sci-tech | By Laverne Osborne

SpaceX announces first commercial lunar traveler: Yusaku Maezawa

SpaceX announces first commercial lunar traveler: Yusaku Maezawa

The excited future space traveler exclaimed at the event, "I choose to go to the moon".

The exact price that Maezawa paid has not been released, although he says that it will be free for the accompanying artists. He also began selling clothing online and established the site Zozotown, the largest of its type in Japan.

SpaceX had previously announced in 2017 that two then-unnamed passengers had booked passage for a Lunar flyby in a Falcon Heavy rocket that was to launch in 2018.

The art enthusiast said on Monday he would invite six to eight artists from around the world to join him on the trip. SpaceX is still working hard at getting its Big Falcon Rocket ready for its first test launches, and the company will need to put its launch systems through their paces well in advance of taking passengers anywhere. The mission is now scheduled for 2023, so Maezawa will have some time to gather his dream team.

Maezawa said he wants his guests to be inspired to create once they return to Earth "to inspire the dreamer in all of us". "When you're pushing the frontier, it's not a sure thing", Musk said. According to Forbes magazine's rich list, there are 34 Japanese-born billionaires in the world, though many of them may be too old to take the trip.

The company has revealed little else about the trip, and it's anyone's guess when it might actually happen.

SpaceX BFR moon trajectory

An art lover with a vision, the Japanese entrepreneur has chose to not just buy a seat on the rocket, but every seat available-in fact he's already made a down payment that will help with BFR development costs. But it must have been quite a lot, because Elon Musk allowed the Japanese to ride him.

The reusable 118-meter (387-foot) rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship.

The BFR is a long way from reality and Musk himself says he's "not 100 percent certain we can bring this to flight".

Here are the latest BFR pictures Musk showed, how the in-development spacecraft has changed, and why tweaks that SpaceX engineers made are so important for the company's ultimate goal of colonizing Mars.

The flight, set for 2023, will launch from Kennedy Space Center, in the Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS) which will be part of the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) booster.

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