A former drummer in a punk band, Maezawa is tentatively planning to make his moon flight in 2023 aboard SpaceX's forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship, taking the race to commercialize space travel to new heights.
With the imminent reveal of the mystery passenger who will be flying around the moon in SpaceX's forthcoming BFR, Elon Musk tweeted two new renders of the spacecraft. It's unclear if Maezawa was one of those people.
The announcement was made at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California. In a recent episode of This American Life, he said he was entirely unmoved by the concept of space travel, the idea of traveling to the moon, and what those of us on Earth might think of as the beauty of space. The artists have not yet been chosen, but part of the project will involve their creating work inspired by their lunar journey after they return to Earth.
Maezawa, 42, is the founder and CEO of Zozo, the largest online fashion retailer in Japan.
Between six and eight artists will join the expedition called Dear Moon, which is now planned for 2023.
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 moon flight is tentatively planned for 2023 aboard SpaceX's forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship, according to Reuters.
SpaceX is on the verge of announcing the name of the person who will be the first private passenger to take a tourist trip around the moon. "These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us", he told reporters.
As Reuters reports, the actual cost of the trip hasn't been revealed, but Maezawa noted that the journey will set him back significantly more than his art purchases. Details are scant - SpaceX will unveil more on Monday (Sept. 17) during a live webcast - but the private spaceflight company did unveil a new artist's concept of a BFR passenger rocket around the moon.
Musk said Maezawa had outlaid a significant deposit and would have a material impact on the cost of developing the BFR, which he estimated at about $5 billion.
At the time, SpaceX was to have used its heavy-lift Falcon Heavy rocket and the crewed version of the existing Dragon capsule. "But we're going to do everything humanly possible to bring it to flight as fast as we can and as safely as we can". "This is not us choosing him", Musk said at the announcement Monday.