Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to be SpaceX’s first Moon tourist

SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon
SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

18 September, 2018

Maezawa will fly on Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s BFR rocket on a trip around the moon, Musk announced today, without saying when.

Elon Musk, the founder of the rocket company SpaceX, plans to reveal who the company's first lunar space tourist will be on Monday night.

In typical fashion for any company owned by Elon Musk, they've made a decision to do so by blasting a single person - the world's first private passenger, around the moon and back to test the rocket's capability for far space travel.

Maezawa's interest in the arts is one of the key driving factors in his reasoning to head to the moon.

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Shotwell estimated that the BFR will launch within a decade. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

SpaceX is developing the BFR - which stands for Big Falcon Rocket, or Big F***ing Rocket - primarily to help humanity settle Mars and other worlds throughout the solar system.

CEO Elon Musk teased this announcement on his twitter page.

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'He stepped forward, ' Musk added. To be clear, we are honored that he would choose us.

Maezawa declined to say how much he's paying for the flight, but Musk said it'll be free for the artists. "You have to set some kind of date that's the things-go-right date. There's a chance that something could go wrong". The launch vehicle is likely still many years away from its inaugural flight.

The company announced they had signed on their first paying passenger to ride the BFR into outer space. "In order to minimize the development risk and cost, we chose to "commonize" the engine between the booster and ship", Musk said, adding that Raptor engines that are optimized for vacuum conditions could be added back in later.

After that, the BFR will move on to larger scale tests - with Mr. Musk noting that the entire BFR system will be tested in an uncrewed configuration before Maezawa and his fellow passengers embark on their voyage around the moon. That design is likely to continue undergoing major shifts well beyond the commencement of integrated Grasshopper-style hop tests of BFR's spaceship upper stage (known as BFS), as flight-testing the rocket's major components will nearly invariably result in design changes, be it major or minor. Company representatives declined to offer additional details Friday.

"It's not 100 percent certain that we succeed in getting this to flight", he said of BFR. Blue Origin's price has not been revealed.

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla Motors, has drawn attention in recent months over his erratic behavior.

The company has been racing to meet NASA's need of a crew-capable spacecraft to take astronauts to the International Space Station and back, along with Boeing, and both companies have fallen well behind their original schedules.

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