Published: Sat, September 22, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Japanese Billionaire Yasaku Maezawa To Fly Around The Moon With SpaceX

Japanese Billionaire Yasaku Maezawa To Fly Around The Moon With SpaceX

Yusaku Maezawa's net worth is in the billions and he has paid for every seat on SpaceX's new Big Falcon Rocket to be the first to go.

SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk may accompany the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, the first passenger SpaceX considers to fly around the moon.

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.

Maezawa said he wants his guests for the lunar orbit "to see the moon up close, and the Earth in full view, and create work to reflect their experience".

Maezawa is a billionaire and Musk has revealed that his contribution is helping make the dream of flying around the moon a possibility. "There are so many artists with us today that I wish could create incredible works of art for humankind, for children of the next generation".

He said he often mused about what artists like Basquiat or Andy Warhol might have come up with if they had traveled into space.

Maezawa is a rock musician, online fashion mogul and, more recently, a high-rolling art collector.

Musk estimated that it'll ultimately cost about $5 billion to get the BFR up and running. "Maybe we'll both be on it".

Unlike Musk's Tesla, SpaceX has avoided most of the CEO's self-inflicted controversies (including a defamation lawsuit, ill-advised tweets, and personal drama).

US, Poland to bolster defence ties
Congress ordered the Pentagon to study the matter in this year's defense policy bill, which Trump signed into law in August. Poland wants a permanent United States presence, and the government has said its willing to pay for it.

The average distance from Earth to the moon is about 237,685 miles (382,500 kilometers). The announcement about world's first moon tourist was made SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, on Tuesday.

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

NASA also aims to launch astronauts around the moon at about the same time that SpaceX does. The outpost would serve as a stepping-off point for the lunar surface, Mars and points beyond.

Back in Japan, Maezawa was a drummer for Switch Style, a punk band he formed with friends that achieved moderate commercial success, according to the Nikkei Asian Review, a Japanese publication. In 2012, he started the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation to support young artists.

Branson's Virgin Galactic has sold tickets for about $250,000, which is more than the median home price in the United States.

Maezawa is not shy when it comes to spending his riches, as evidenced when he made headlines for shelling out a record $110.5 million for Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 painting of a skull past year.

With SpaceX, Musk has described his mission as nothing short of making humans a multi-planetary species. Last year, he said two paying tourists would circle the Moon in 2018, but those plans that did not materialise.

Russian and Chinese companies are also working on space tourism plans. The company will use the extra space to store lots of food, water, fuel and spare parts, in case something goes wrong during the flight. 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.

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