SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed that the first private passenger who will ride the company's Big Falcon Rocket around the moon is none other than Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.
It was previously reported that NASA was planning to contrast the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway, a space station orbiting the moon, in the next half decade. SpaceX might be able to follow the launch of the outpost's first piece, scheduled in 2022, with the BFR carrying Maezawa.
The First SpaceX BFR Passenger To The Moon
SpaceX recently announced that the first private citizen has signed up to take the trip to the moon, inside the company's BFR. CEO Elon Musk hinted that it was someone from Japan, with the person's identity to be revealed in a presentation at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
Musk has now revealed that person to be Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese entrepreneur who founded Zozotown, which is the biggest online clothing retailer in his home country.
The 42-year-old Maezawa has a current net worth of $2.9 billion, and is an avid art collector who last year paid $110.5 million for a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Maezawa, however, will not be alone in his trip to the moon on the BFR, as he purchased all the seats on the rocket's first private trip to the moon.
The Japanese billionaire introduced his project DearMoon.Earth, in which he will choose six to eight artists to come along with him on the week-long mission. Maezawa will be looking for a painter, photographer, musician, film director, architect, and fashion designer to accompany him to the moon.
The purpose of the DearMoon.Earth project is to inspire the artists to create art that will provide inspiration to future generations and promote world peace.
Musk, who revealed that it was actually Maezawa who approached SpaceX with the idea for the flight, declined to disclose how much the Japanese billionaire paid for the flight. Musk, however, noted that the down payment made by Maezawa will have "a material effect" on the costs attached to the development of the BFR.
The DearMoon.Earth project, with Maezawa onboard the BFR, is scheduled to launch in 2023.
SpaceX BFR: Here's What We Know About It
Elon Musk recently tweeted two new renders of the SpaceX BFR, giving space enthusiasts a glimpse of what to expect from the groundbreaking rocket.
The BFR will be made up of two parts, namely a 191-foot rocket booster and a 157-foot spaceship. Combined, the rocket is 35 stories tall, and will weigh up to 9 million pounds when fully fueled. The BFR will also be full reusable, making Maezawa's trip to the moon economically feasible.