Elon Musk’s SpaceX says Japan billionaire will be first tourist to moon

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Yusaku Maezawa, 42, who runs Japanese clothing shopping site Zozotown, is set to travel on a Big Falcon Rocket spaceship that is now being developed, the US space company said. The last time humans made the journey was in 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission crewed by NASA astronauts Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt and Ronald Evans. He said about BFR, it's "making people excited about the future - about getting up in the morning".

"Finally I can tell you that I have chosen to go to the moon" with artists, Maezawa said.

While Maezawa is relatively unknown outside the archipelago and the art world, he's guaranteed to become more famous with his plan to fly to Earth's biggest satellite with a cabal of artists.

Maezawa will soon start the process of choosing the artists to take with him, with everyone needing to go through training and preparation in the years leading up to launch. He's yet to choose the artists who will accompany him.

"If you hear from me, please say yes", he pleaded. "This is unsafe, to be clear", Musk said.

Looping a human around the moon is just the first stage of a plan that is targeted on the moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond.

But Musk cautioned that SpaceX may not meet its 2023 timeline for the lunar mission. Maezawa came to SpaceX with the idea for the group flight, Musk said.

"He is, I think, the bravest person and most willing to do so", Musk said, referring to Maezawa.

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Maezawa's trip to the moon will be made on board a BFR, which is now still in development.

As Reuters reports, the actual cost of the trip hasn't been revealed, but Maezawa noted that the journey will set him back significantly more than his art purchases.

Last year, Musk said the BFR could be used for trips to the moon and other celestial destinations, as well as for suborbital point-to-point trips on Earth. A former drummer in a rock band, he built shopping website Zozotown, a popular destination for younger consumers, from a mail-order music album business.

SpaceX has already contributed to space ventures by privately developing a liquid-fuel launch vehicle that orbited the Earth in 2008. It will also have seven Raptor engines and forward- and rear-actuated fins that Musk describes as being "like giant wings". He made a splash in the art world in 2017, when he spent $110.5 million on a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting at a Sotheby's auction, setting a record for an American artist's work at the time. "We're definitely not sure" about the 2023 schedule for the circumlunar mission, he said.

As the event ended Someone ask Musk if he will go into space. The BFR is expected to stand 118 meters high, taller than a Saturn V. SpaceX has said it hopes this rocket will someday carry people to Mars.

SpaceX said a year ago that it planned to send two private citizens around the moon in a Dragon crew capsule to be launched by a Falcon Heavy rocket.

The company signed Maezawa to fly on its BFR launch vehicle on Thursday, in what would be "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space".

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