Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Sci-tech | By Spencer Schmidt

Elon Musk Reveals First SpaceX Passenger for Trip Around the Moon

Elon Musk Reveals First SpaceX Passenger for Trip Around the Moon

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa hopes to be the first civilian passenger to fly to the moon, as part of an ambitious project with Elon Musk's SpaceX. Had SpaceX followed through with that plan, it could have returned humans to the moon near the 50th anniversary of NASA's historic Apollo 8 mission around the moon in December 1968.

"I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself", he said.

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

Stating "I have chosen to go to the Moon" Maezawa, who made his money in the entertainment business, explained that he had been fascinated by the Moon since he was a kid.

Maezawa will invite six to eight artists of different professional and personal backgrounds - artists who represent the whole of humanity - to join him on the lunar flyby mission... with the only stipulation to their involvement being that they create works thereafter that "inspire the dreamer in all of us". The device wasn't used and in the interview, Unsworth called it a "PR stunt" and said it wouldn't have worked to free the boys who were trapped in the flooded cave.

At a SpaceX event on Monday in Los Angeles, Musk did not clarify how much Maezawa would pay for the journey, according to TechCrunch. "Please say yes and accept my invitation! Usually there are many setbacks and issues", Musk said.

Musk estimated it would cost $5 billion to build.

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.

Musk would not say what the trip would cost, but did say that the design of the almost 400-foot tall rocket had evolved recently, with the first flights to orbit coming in two to three years.

"It makes a difference", Musk said. "Some of Earth's greatest talents will board a spacecraft and be inspired in a way they have never been before", Maezawa's new #dearMoon website reads.

A flurry of discussion and speculation started on September 13, when SpaceX's Twitter account announced it would release the name of the first private passenger in a special event.

This isn't the first time Musk has vowed to send tourists around the Moon.

"As far as me going, I'm not sure", Musk responded. He is best known elsewhere for paying a record $110 million a year ago for a 1982 painting by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat.

"Maybe we'll both be on it, " Musk said with a smile. Musk has loudly touted the potential for the BFR to lead interplanetary colonization efforts; the Verge wrote Musk said the updated design is a roughly 117.96m-long (118 meter) two-stage vessel capable of carrying 100 metric tons of cargo to a theoretical future Mars colony if refueled in orbit.

In 2017, Mr Musk announced that he would be sending two paying passengers on a loop around the Moon - which was to have launched as early as this year.

The Big Falcon Rocket is the most powerful rocket in human history and it'll one day carry humans into space. Its last rocket, the Falcon Heavy, had its first successful launch almost five years later than planned.

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