Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Japan fashion billionaire Maezawa picked by SpaceX for moon flight

Japan fashion billionaire Maezawa picked by SpaceX for moon flight

United States tech company SpaceX has announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being created to carry people into deep space. Moreover, none of them will have to pay anything for the trip as the Japanese executive has already brought all the seats on BFR.

"He did suggest, like, maybe that I would join on this trip", Musk said with a laugh, referring to Maezawa. I want to share this experience and things. Or Andy Warhol or Michael Jackson or John Lennon? I don't like being alone.

Musk described Maezawa as incredibly fearless and said his desire to participate in and pay for this trip restored Musk's faith in humanity.

Given that this new BFR rocket, as it's dubbed, has yet to be built, the flight presumably is at least a few years off. SpaceX is still working to built the 387-foot Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) it plans to use for its moon flight.

The mission will not involve a lunar landing.

"Lasting about a week, the journey will come as close as 125 miles to the Moon's surface before completing lunar transit and returning back to Earth", SpaceX said.

Astronauts last visited the moon during NASA's Apollo program.

NASA is shooting for its own flyby of the moon, with a crew, around 2023.

And the 2023 date, by the way, is far from set in stone: A lot of development and testing work will have to go well for SpaceX to hit that target, Musk said.

In February 2017 SpaceX said two people had bought tickets to the moon for a flight that was supposed to take place this year. Last year, he said two paying tourists would circle the Moon in 2018, but those plans that did not materialize.

The 106 metre (347 feet) long ship was first announced previous year, and Musk said the ship will contain up to 40 cabins which will have enough space for 100 people.

Maezawa isn't the first tourist to the space.

It was designed with the objective of exploring Mars with the ultimate goal of colonising the planet.

SpaceX said it has signed the first private moon traveller, with some changes to its original game plan.

He recently criticized analysts during a Tesla earnings conference call, labeled a British diver in the recent Thai cave rescue drama as a pedophile, took a hit off an apparent marijuana-tobacco joint during a podcast interview and tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla private but then announced the deal was off.

Earlier on Monday it emerged Mr Musk was being sued for defamation over his repeated claims that a British cave diver was a child abuser. He told ABC News he's long dreamed of going to the moon.

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