Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Research | By Sheri Schwartz

SpaceX moon passenger to invite artists on journey

SpaceX moon passenger to invite artists on journey

"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.

At the unveiling, Musk said Maezawa will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which is still in development. "Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon".

"He did suggest, like, maybe that I would join on this trip", Musk said with a laugh, referring to Maezawa. "These artists will be asked to create something when they return to the Earth and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamers within all of us", Maezawa said during a press conference at SpaceX headquarters.

He said he hasn't yet decided which artists he plans to invite, but he joked, "if you should hear from me, please say yes and accept my invitation".

The trip is set to happen in 2023.

It is not clear how much he has paid for the trip. Indeed, one of his statements to this effect - "I'd like to die on Mars, just not on impact" - has found its way onto T-shirts and posters.

If it all goes to plan this will be the first manned mission to the moon since the Apollo 17 landing back in 1972. The BFR, announced in September 2017, eventually will replace SpaceX's other launch vehicles, the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, as well as its Dragon spacecraft.

SpaceX has established its bona fides in the aerospace business by transporting supplies to the International Space Station and by completing the tricky maneuver of recovering rockets after launch so that they can be reused.

The BFS is said to be able to hold 100 passengers.

With these announcements, SpaceX also presented - visually - an updated variant of the ship that will carry the group to space. It is scheduled for an unmanned demonstration launch in November.

The space agency is planning its own lunar flyby with a crew around 2023.

The trip is 240,000 miles one way and will take four or five days. The company kicked off its announcement this evening, taking the wraps off its customer: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

42-year-old Maezawa is the founder of Zozotown, Japan's largest clothing marketplace that has operations in more than 72 countries and did $76 billion in sales last fiscal year.

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