1st non-public moon flight passenger to ask artistic visitors

20 September, 2018, 15:30 | Author: Emmett Howard
  • SpaceX BFR Mars

Elon Musk and his rocket company, SpaceX, plan to launch a private passenger named Yusaku Maezawa around the moon.

Former punk-band drummer Maezawa will join the 24 other astronauts who have flown beyond Earth's protective magnetic field, in missions between 1968 and 1972.

The big reveal on who it is - and when the flight to the moon will be - will be announced Monday at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. "I choose to go to the Moon", he was quoted as saying.

"Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the Moon!"

Maezawa purchased all the seats on the spaceship and plans to select six to eight artists from a variety of disciplines to take the lunar journey with him in 2023.

Mr Maezawa, 42, said he wants his guests for the lunar orbit "to see the moon up close, and the Earth in full view, and create work to reflect their experience".

Musk says he's aiming for Maezawa's moonshot to take place in 2023.

The first test flight with NASA astronauts on board is planned for next spring.

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Maezawa will fly on the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, a new spaceship system that SpaceX is building. Nasa's Apollo 17 in December 1972 marked the last time humans landed on the moon, or went beyond low Earth orbit. "Usually there are many setbacks and issues", Musk said.

"SpaceX has a habit of announcing these grand plans and always pushing forward, even if they haven't quite finished the previous project", he said.

During the unveiling of the rocket, Musk said that the BFR already has its first passenger booked, but during the event, no names were offered.

The BFR rocket and spaceship is being designed as the most ambitious space project ever created, a precursor to a mission to Mars.

Maezawa's undisclosed payment will reportedly play a huge part in financing the development of BFR, which is estimated to cost around $5 billion.

Musk further said that this mission isn't a walk in the park and is risky.

Maezawa, a former musician, founded the retail firm Start Today in 1998 and built it into one of Japan's most successful companies.

Asked why the company made further changes, Musk said he "did not like the aesthetics" of the previous version. Since then, NASA has relied on Russian Federation to ferry astronauts to the space station. It aims to launch its first crewed mission to the space station in the second quarter of 2019. This lunar mission - a flyby, not a landing - represents "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space", SpaceX said in a tweet.

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