SpaceX: Japanese billionaire to be first private moon flight passenger

News					SpaceX to give BFR update and announce a private Moon mission on Monday

News SpaceX to give BFR update and announce a private Moon mission on Monday

At the time, Musk said the pair approached SpaceX about sending them on a weeklong flight and paid a "significant" deposit for the trip.

"I love the moon", Maezawa told ABC News' David Kerley following the announcement. And he doesn't want to go alone either.

"I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the Moon".

He is the first to book a trip as a private passenger with the commercial space company for a voyage that hasn't been attempted since NASA's Apollo missions ended in 1972.

This could be humanity's first lunar visit since 1972, depending on how NASA's latest moon plans shape up. The company now has the Falcon and Falcon Heavy rockets.

Maezawa was a skateboarder and drummer in his youth and founded the custom fashion company Zozo 20 years ago.

Earlier Maezawa was in the news when he bought a painting worth $110.5 million, by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat while at an auction in NY.

Maezawa made his fortune by building up Start Today, an e-commerce business that includes a popular online clothing site in Japan.

The trip will be expensive. The event will reveal the identity of the mystery passenger, and we hope, more details on the big freaking rocket. According to the travel agency SpaceAdventures, seven space tourists have booked tickets aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS, but the last of those trips occurred in 2009. He said the top priority is getting ready to be able to send astronauts to the space station.

Musk and other private spaceflight CEOs have been striving to fill that gap with spacecraft that can get crews to the ISS and beyond.

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.

Until now, Americans are the only ones who have left Earth's orbit.

"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. Maezawa will take about three days to reach the moon before orbiting its far side and slingshotting back toward Earth.

NASA's Apollo 8 mission took off on December 21, 1968, sending astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders on a flight to orbit the moon. New renderings released by SpaceX this month show a seven-engine rocket with a separate booster 30 feet (9 meters) in width. The BFS aims to hold 100 passengers inside; Corbin Dallas would be proud.

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

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