Japanese Billionaire Yasaku Maezawa To Fly Around The Moon With SpaceX

What you need to know about the first tourist that SpaceX is taking around the moon

SpaceX announced Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be its first passenger to orbit the moon in its Big Falcon Rocket.

Of course, the craft is very far from completion and Musk has repeatedly set aspirational timelines for its development that never panned out, so this is all more or less conceptual. "Please don't say no!", Maezawa added.

Musk said the BFR is still in development and will make several unmanned test launches before it takes on passengers. The comment caused Tesla's stock to soar, and Musk said Tesla would remain public a few days later.

The first space tourist pointed out that he already paid for the reservation of all the seats on the SpaceX BFR rocket. Alongside, he also revealed plans to bring six to eight others, which he says will include painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, film directors, fashion designers, and architects. Forbes reports that his net worth is $2.9 billion, though the tycoon had humble beginnings in business, starting by selling CDs and records when he was younger.

Maezawa said his interest in the moon started as a child. He sent out a series of tweets of appreciation for the agency, including one in response to Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The first space tourist was Dennis Tito, an American businessman who in 2001 paid some $20 million to fly on a Russian spaceship to the International Space Station.

Maezawa and whoever flies with him will join an exclusive club - only two dozen astronauts have ever visited the moon, and no one has been to the moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

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Toward the end of the event, a reporter in the room asked Musk about his own plans to fly in space.

Yusaku Meazawa will be the first paying passenger aboard a SpaceX rocket going to the moon, Elon Musk announced last night.

"He stepped forward to do it".

As the Post noted, it's been remarkably successful with "34 straight successful rocket launches over the last 20 months" and a "massive backlog of commercial launch contracts". Maezawa, an avid art collector, hopes the experience will inspire the artists to create new works based on their adventure. "To be clear, we're honored that he would choose us". In a place where company executives maintain low-key lifestyles and keep out of the spotlight, Maezawa is active on social media, sharing snippets from lavish meals or vacations, and is a regular name in entertainment publications.

According to the New York Times, Maezawa "may be best known" for his $110 million (£83 million) purchase of a 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting of a skull, a sum that his sister Lisane Basquiat referred to as leaving the family "speechless". "And it sounds insane but everything we've ever done has sounded insane to people, both people that love us and people that don't like us so much".

-With assistance from Lisa Du.

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