Japanese Billionaire Books First Moonshot Aboard SpaceX's 'Big Falcon Rocket'

20 September, 2018, 13:14 | Author: Rosalie Gross
  • Elon Musk had said two humans take that trip at some point in 2018

The BFR will eventually replace Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, but not until all of SpaceX's customers are on board, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in April.

The announcement was made at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

But in February this year, Mr Musk said SpaceX would concentrate on the BFR for future crewed missions.

"This is unsafe. This is not a walk in the park", Elon Musk warned at a crowded press conference at the rocket maker's headquarters near Los Angeles International Airport.

The Moon is about 385,000 km away from Earth and the last time an astronaut travelled there was in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission.

With SpaceX, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, the SpaceX passenger will join a growing list of celebrities and the ultra-rich who have secured seats on flights offered on the under-development vessels.

Japanese billionaire businessman, online fashion tycoon and art collector Yusaku Maezawa was revealed Monday as the first tourist who will fly on a SpaceX rocket around the Moon.

"I wish to create incredible works of art for humankind", Maezawa said. But he doesn't intend on traveling alone; the billionaire is also inviting six to eight artists to join him on his historic journey, which is slated for 2023. The reusable 387ft rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship.The mission will not involve a lunar landing.

Musk has not revealed how much his "Lunar BFR Mission" will cost in the long run, but Maezawa surely won't have a hard time footing the bill. Nor is it known when the flight will take place as BFR has yet to be built.

"I can't wait", said Musk at the event.

During Monday night's announcement, Musk said the whole objective of SpaceX is to "help advance rocket technology to the point where we could potentially become a multi-planet species", and to "extend life beyond Earth and do so as quickly as we can".

Shortly after his successful Falcon Heavy Launch, Musk said he expected a "full-scale test" of the massive rocket within the next few years. It has not yet been confirmed which artists Maezawa would invite, but he has suggested that it would be artists who inspire him personally which would be chosen.

On Monday, Mr Musk unveiled new artist impressions of the BFR and the spaceship which will carry passengers around the Moon.



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