The first SpaceX tourist to take a trip around the moon will be Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. The space exploration company made the revelation at a conference yesterday.
Though still in development, Maezawa has bought a ticket aboard SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket, for a slingshot trip around the Moon. Completing the trip is estimated to take four or five days.
The First SpaceX Tourist
He won’t travel alone. The Japanese e-commerce mogul and musician will bring six to eight artists with him free of charge. Maezawa made his fortune from his e-commerce business Start Today, a popular online clothing site in Japan.
Known for splashing his cash, last year he purchased a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting for $110.5 million.
“I want to share this experience and things with as many people as possible, so, I choose to go to the Moon with artists.”
The trip’s financial details have not been disclosed, but it is assumed the Japanese billionaire paid out a rather big sum for the unique excursion. According to SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, the amount is a “non-trivial” number and Maezawa “puts his money where his mouth is.”
The Big Falcon Rocket
Maezawa will fly on the Big Falcon Rocket or BFR, a new spaceship system built by SpaceX. It consists of the world’s most powerful rocket-booster and a spacecraft called the Big Falcon Spaceship, that will propel out of the Earth’s atmosphere.
The launch is anticipated for 2023, but Musk himself is dubious of this date.
The BFR is still undergoing design updates and whilst the latest blueprints of the final design have emerged, it will take further time and tests to confirm its readiness for the mission.
Overall, development of the BFR is costly; roughly $5 billion, according to Musk. But if your first SpaceX tourist is a billionaire, it’s safe to say Musk may make some of that back.
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