Billionaire Fashion Retailer Yusaku Maezawa to Become SpaceX’s First Moon Tourist

Who is Yusaku Maezawa

Yusaku Maezawa

Elon Musk attempted to write the next chapter in his quest to open up space to the masses by announcing on Monday night the first paying tourist that his company, SpaceX, would fly on a trip around the moon.

Even so, Musk did mention that Maezawa brought the idea to him and that his money for the ticket will help fund development of Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) that the company plans to use for the lunar flight, but also for a flight to Mars. 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. The billionaire plans to bring six to eight artists with him on the mission, People reported.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk's space launch company said last week that the person will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the BFR, which is still in development.

Mr Musk has said he wants the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024.

"Maybe we'll both be on it", Musk said with a smile. Maezawa is an art collector who set a record price at auction for an American artist when he paid $110 million in 2017 for a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat. He made his fortune by founding the wildly popular shopping site Zozotown. The event, held in SpaceX's Southern California headquarters, will be broadcast live via a YouTube stream.

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Maezawa then said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah - please, please". He said, "As far as me going, I'm not sure".

"Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the moon", Maezawa said.

That original mission would have used a Falcon Heavy rocket - the most powerful rocket flying today - and a Dragon crew capsule similar to the one NASA astronauts will use to fly to the International Space Station as early as next year.

"I know that sounds insane, and we don't usually meet our time lines, but I wanted you to know at least order of magnitude, that's what we're thinking", Shotwell said. It consists of a massive rocket booster that promises to out-power any that has ever been built and a towering spacecraft, nicknamed BFS for Big Falcon Spaceship, that will vault out of the Earth's atmosphere.

Musk cautioned at the news conference that SpaceX is not certain about the 2023 timing for the moon tourism mission.

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He added that he anticipates SpaceX's Starlink satellite system to be operational by then, which he said should aid in the broadcast, particularly when the moon is between the Earth and the spaceship.

Musk estimated it would cost $5bn to build.

Interestingly, we're about to enter a roughly 10-month period that will mark the 50-year anniversary of not just the lunar landing, but a series of five Apollo launches in quick succession that led to the most famous, Apollo 13.

In 2016 he sold $250 million worth of stock so he could buy more art.

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