1st SpaceX passenger: 'I choose to go to the moon!'

Pablo Tucker
September 18, 2018

SpaceX has announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being created to carry people into deep space.

"Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the moon", Maezawa said.

Maezawa founded Japan's largest online fashion mall, Zozotown, and custom-fit clothing label Zozo, and his net worth is reported to be $2.9 billion. "But I didn't want such an experience by myself, i want to share these experiences with others".

"Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon", he said.

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.

"This has done a lot to restore my faith in humanity - that someone's willing to do this", Musk said.

That now stands to change with BFR and signals a synergy between SpaceX and Maezawa in terms of using the BFR architecture to make space accessible to everyone.

Announced previous year, the BFR ship will sit 118 metres long - previously announced as 106 metres (347 feet) long - and Musk has said the ship will contain up to 40 cabins which will have enough space for 100 people.

"Its not 100 percent certain we can bring this to flight", Musk said of the lunar mission.

The average distance from Earth to the moon is about 382,500 kilometres.

NASA is shooting for its own flyby of the moon, with a crew, around 2023.

It also aims to build a staffed gateway near the moon during the 2020s. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

Prior to the announcement on Monday, Musk took to Twitter to show off two new images of the BFR.

The BFR was first announced in 2016, and was touted as the most powerful rocket in history, even more potent than the Saturn V Moon rocket that launched the Apollo missions five decades ago.

Maezawa's other hobby is amassing valuable works of modern art and previous year, he announced the acquisition of a Jean-Michel Basquiat masterpiece worth $110.5million.

In February 2017, SpaceX said two "private citizens" had "paid a significant deposit" for a trip around the moon.

The trip is expected to take several days, and is slated for 2023.

The SpaceX CEO also provided an update about the BFR design during tonight's event.

The company announced they had signed on their first paying passenger to ride the BFR into outer space.

In the past few months, Musk has lashed out at analysts during an earnings call for Tesla, his electric auto company, for asking "boring, bonehead questions".

Earlier in the day, Musk was sued for defamation by the British driver he had accused of being a "child rapist" and pedophile via tweets and emails to media.

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