SpaceX unveils Japanese billionaire as first ever private tourist for lunar mission

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After being announced as the first BFR customer, Maezawa joined Musk on stage.

Lucky for Yusaku Maezawa, money is not an issue.

The announcement of this trip, is one of many steps SpaceX has taken to realize the company and the Big Falcon Rocket's mission: "To help advance rocket technology to a point where we could potentially become a multi-planet species and a true spacefaring civilization", Elon Musk said during a press briefing tonight.

The BFR is actually two components: a powerful booster and a passenger-carrying module, the Big Falcon Spaceship. Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire and founder of online fashion mall Zozotown.

The colourful executive is best known outside Japan for his pricey collection of foreign art. He is best known elsewhere for paying a record $110 million past year for a 1982 painting by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Currently, there is no good way for the average Joe or Jane to get to space.

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However, it now seems that just one passenger will be on board. He bought an entire spaceship, and he intends to people it with 6-8 artists from different countries and representing different styles of art.

"These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth", he said.

"I hope that people will see it that way".

Between six and eight artists will join the expedition called Dear Moon, which is now planned for 2023.

SpaceX had previously announced in 2017 that two then-unnamed passengers had booked passage for a Lunar flyby in a Falcon Heavy rocket that was to launch in 2018.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted that Yusaku would be "bringing eight (brave) artists & cultural figures with him on the journey around the moon". BFR, in contrast, will have room for many more people.

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SpaceX officials announced last week that it had reached an agreement to send a private citizen on a voyage around the moon, making the person the first to travel to the moon since 1972, even though the trip won't include an actual landing on the lunar surface.

Maezawa, whose net worth is estimated at $2.9 billion by Forbes, plans to work with the SpaceX team to select his fellow passengers. "Please say yes and accept my invitation!"

Maezawa's lunar mission will also be very unsafe.

"As far as me going, I'm not sure", Musk responded.

The rocket itself is not yet built and Musk said that the mission was "not 100pc certain". Instead of a capsule, the BFR's spaceship has fins like those in 1950s science-fiction movies and looks something like a sleeker version of America's now-retired space shuttles.

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