SpaceX is flying a Japanese billionaire to the moon in 2023

Mindy Sparks
September 22, 2018

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. Watch the full announcement in the video player below.

Speaking at the event, he said: "Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the moon!".

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was reluctant to disclose the amount of money Maezawa paid to be a part of the mission, simply saying: "He's paying a very significant amount of money".

The announcement at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., followed days of speculation over the identity of the first passenger - and months of chatter about the capabilities of the BFR, an acronym for "Big Falcon Rocket" in its G-rated interpretation.

The new SpaceX strategy is to still fly around the moon without landing, but use an even bigger rocket still in development that has its own dedicated passenger ship. The rescuer sued Musk on Monday in U.S. District Court in California for defamation.

Musk outlined a somewhat different SpaceX mission a year ago. I thought long and hard about how to be able to become the first private passenger to go to the Moon. The trip was organized by the Virginia-based company Space Adventures, which has since sent several more paying customers on spaceflights. The BFR could be conducting its first orbital flights in about two to three years, he said.

But Musk said, "This is the final iteration in terms of broad architectural design". SpaceX plans to launch the first unmanned mission to Mars by 2022 - a goal Musk himself has described as "Ambitious", with a sight to putting the first humans on the red planet by 2024.

The United States hasn't had the ability to put humans in orbit since the Space Shuttle era ended in 2011.

Maezawa didn't immediately say who will be on his guest list for the spaceflight, but in response to a question from a reporter he said he'd consider inviting Musk.

Musk called it "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of travelling to space".

Two of Musk's fellow billionaires - Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Virgin Group's Richard Branson - also want to make a business out of space tourism.

In April, Musk posted a picture to Instagram (since removed) of what he described as the "main body tool" for his company's BFR interplanetary spaceship.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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