SpaceX announced on Monday, September 24 from its headquarters in Hawthorne, California – that Yyusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire will become the first passenger on SpaceX on a trip around the Moon. The first mission will be held on the company’s Big Falcon Rocket and is planned for 2023.
Yusaku Maezawa revelead that he intends to travel together with six to eight artists that would go with him free of charge. “I want to share this experience and things with as many people as possible,” Maezawa shared during a news conference. “So, I choose to got to the Moon with artists.” Members of the SpaceX team will work along with Maezawa and help select the artists.
Maezawa pleaded humorously, “If you hear from me, please say yes.” and encourage Elon Musk to become a fellow passenger during the first mission. Musk responded that he was not sure whether he would be going and added “Maybe we’ll both be on it.”
According to initial estimations and plans, the journey will take four to five days.
Maezawa is a rock musician, online fashion mogul and, more recently, a high-rolling art collector, whose net worth is estimated at $2.9 billion by Forbes. Maezawa made his fortune by building up an e-commerce business Start today that includes a popular online clothing site in Japan.
Interested parties can stay updated with the most recent announcement related to the development of the mission by following the #dearMoon posts on a website and social media accounts under the same name.
Future announcements about the project, which Maezawa is calling “#dearMoon,” will be posted on a website and social media accounts under the same name.
SpeceX is currently in the process of building a new spaceship system, Big Falcon Rocket that will feature a massive rocket booster that is designed to out-power any vehicle that has ever been build. Big Falcon will also include a Spaceship that will vault out of the Earth’s atmosphere.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotweel announced earlier this week that the company plans to make some short test flight in 2019. Shotwell also explained that the full rocket could reach orbit for the first time in 2020 and possibly deliver cargo to the Moon or Mars in 2022.
“I know that sounds crazy, and we don’t usually meet our time lines, but I wanted you to know at least order of magnitude, that’s what we’re thinking,” Shotwell said. “And it sounds crazy but everything we’ve ever done has sounded crazy to people, both people that love us and people that don’t like us so much.”
No details were revealed at the news conference as to what the price of Maezawa’s ticket to the Moon was. However, Elon Musk shared “He puts his money where his mouth is” and described the amount as “non-trivial.”