Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Research | By Wilma Wheeler

Japanese Billionaire Will Fly To The Moon With SpaceX, Elon Musk Says

Japanese Billionaire Will Fly To The Moon With SpaceX, Elon Musk Says

The 42-year-old Maezawa is one of Japan's most colorful executives and is a regular fixture in the country's gossipy weeklies with his collection of foreign and Japanese art, fast cars and celebrity girlfriend.

The billionaire chief executive of electric auto maker Tesla Inc, Musk revealed more details of the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, the super heavy-lift launch vehicle that he promises will shuttle passengers to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars.

He said during a press conference that he planned to take six to eight artists with him on the mission.

Musk didn't just share the BFR renders, though - he also answered a few questions about the craft on Twitter, identifying a part near the nose as the "forward moving wing" - a feature that Redditors picked up on after SpaceX tweeted its first BFR render Thursday night.

The first space tourist was Dennis Tito, an American businessman who in 2001 paid some $20million to fly on a Russian spaceship to the International Space Station. "It's not a sure thing".

Yusaku Maezawa, 42, who runs Japanese clothing shopping site Zozotown, is set to travel on a Big Falcon Rocket spaceship that is now being developed, the USA space company said. According to Musk, the spaceship could shuttle about 100 passengers to the red planet.

The Big Falcon Rocket has not been built and not even Musk is willing to guarantee it will happen.

According to Musk's presentation [PDF] previous year, the mighty BFR will stand 118 metres tall when erected on its launchpad, and will be able to lift 150 tons into low Earth orbit with the help of a massive central booster, making it the most powerful rocket ever to fly. SpaceX's passenger will be the first person to take a space flight toward the moon who did not train through a formal program like NASA.

The company is still developing the BFR rocket, which will be the successor to SpaceX's oft-used Falcon 9 rocket and its upgraded version, the Falcon Heavy.

SpaceX has been an undoubted success story in the private space race.

Not since the Apollo mission of 1972 has man come close to the surface of the moon but this could soon be about to change if Elon Musk has his way.

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic AND Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin are ALSO racing to pioneer the industry. "But we're going to do everything humanly possible to bring it to flight as fast as we can and as safely as we can".

SpaceX isn't the only company looking to turn space tourism into a booming business.

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla Motors, has drawn attention in recent months over his erratic behavior. "And late Sunday, Musk further fueled the anticipation by tweeting out artist renderings of the massive launch vehicle that SpaceX is developing to fly into deep space, with a simple message: "#OccupyMars".

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