Musk names Jap billionaire for 'dangerous mission' to moon

Yolanda Curtis
September 21, 2018

SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk may accompany the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, the first passenger SpaceX considers to fly around the moon. This is a mission the company has planned for 2023.

Maezawa is a billionaire and Musk has revealed that his contribution is helping make the dream of flying around the moon a possibility.

Maezawa announced a name for his new project, #dearMoon, and a website,, and said that that between now and the BFR's launch in 2023 he would select six to eight artists to go with him to space. The idea came to him after he thought about seeing the moon up close and how it might affect some of his favorite artists.

He recently criticized analysts during a Tesla earnings conference call, labeled a British diver in the recent Thai cave rescue drama as a pedophile, took a hit off an apparent marijuana-tobacco joint during a podcast interview, and tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla private but then announced the deal was off.

With SpaceX, Musk has described his mission as nothing short of making humans a multi-planetary species. It consists of a massive rocket booster that promises to out-power any that has ever been built and a towering spacecraft, nicknamed BFS for Big Falcon Spaceship, that will vault out of the Earth's atmosphere. Elon Musk said that the amount is "significant" and could influence the development of missiles Big Falcon Rocket. In an effort to keep operating costs down, the BFR and BFS will be reusable. SpaceX aims to phase out all of its current hardware eventually, handing all tasks over to the BFR.

"All right. Maybe we will both be on it", Musk said to cheers and applause. "If we can do that, all those resources can be applied to this system".

The first space tourist was Dennis Tito, an American businessman who in 2001 paid some $20 million to fly on a Russian spaceship to the International Space Station.

Laura Seward Forczyk, the founder of Atlanta-based space consulting firm Astralytical, stated before Monday's announcement that the announcement is exciting, but people have heard it before.

Per the Verge, Musk also showed off another revision to the BFR, stating that the new design would have seven instead of six large Raptor engines, boast additional cargo room on the rocket's bottom, and have three instead of two rear fins as well as front actuator fins.

Musk had previously said he wanted the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024, though his ambitious production targets have been known to slip. The company has completed more than 50 successful Falcon launches and snagged billions of dollars' worth of contracts, including deals with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense. According to Musk, the ultimate goal for the BFS and the BFR is to colonize Mars.

Of course, the craft is very far from completion and Musk has repeatedly set aspirational timelines for its development that never panned out, so this is all more or less conceptual.

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