Japanese billionaire is SpaceX's 1st Moon tourist: Musk

Who Is SpaceX's Mystery Moon Passenger

Musk, who is well-known for issuing overly ambitious schedules, said during a Q&A in March that he hoped to begin testing the spaceship portion of the BFR sometime in 2019. The amount that Maezawa paid for the trip was not disclosed. He said he wanted the artists "to see the moon up close, and the earth in full view, and create work to reflect their experience".

Maezawa, whose net worth is $2.3 billion, is the founder and CEO of Japan's largest e-commerce company Start Today Co.

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur and art collector. Had SpaceX followed through with that plan, it could have returned humans to the moon near the 50th anniversary of NASA's historic Apollo 8 mission around the moon in December 1968. SpaceX's passenger will be the first person to take a space flight toward the moon who did not train through a formal program like NASA.

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Maezawa added that he won't be travelling alone as he'll be bring artists along with him.

Elon Musk's company SpaceX unveiled its plans to send the first private passenger around the moon. The mission is now scheduled for 2023, so Maezawa will have some time to gather his dream team.

SpaceX did not reveal how much money did Maezaw had to pay to realise his childhood dream. The goal of Maezawa's project is for the artists to be inspired by the journey and create art about it when they go back to Earth. According to Musk, the spaceship could shuttle about 100 passengers to the red planet.

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Forbes ranks Maezawa as the 18th richest person in Japan.

Maezawal and other passengers will be put into the deep space using SpaceX's big Falcon Rocket. Elon Musk confirmed that the company has already done a few tests on key components of the rocket such as pressure tests of the propellant tanks and ignition tests on the Raptor engines. The rocket dubbed BFR has not been built so any flight presumably is at least several years away.

Instead, Musk said, SpaceX would turn its focus to developing the BFR, which he deemed a better option for tourism missions.

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SpaceX/YouTube Musk released the proposed trajectory of the first lunar SpaceX flight with a paying customer, which could take place as early as 2023.

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