SpaceX's 1st traveler is moonstruck Japanese fashion tycoon

Musk names Jap billionaire for ‘dangerous mission’ to moon

SpaceX's 1st traveler is moonstruck Japanese fashion tycoon

After announcing that he'll take the first-ever commercial rocket trip around the moon, Yusaku Maezawa said he wants company for the weeklong journey.

A former drummer in a punk band, Maezawa's moon flight is tentatively planned for 2023 aboard SpaceX's forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) spaceship, taking the race to commercialize space travel to new heights.

He said he would invite six to eight artists - sculptors, painters, architects and film directors - from across the globe to fly with him on a week-long trip in 2023 that he said would lead to the production of art "to inspire the dreamer in all of us". That flight, which SpaceX announced in February 2017, was to launch atop the company's Falcon Heavy rocket before the end of 2018.

Musk said that it was originally Maezawa's idea to do this trip.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa stood before the audience gathered at SpaceX headquarters Monday evening and was greeted by cheers when he echoed a line from a famous speech by President John F. Kennedy, proclaiming "I choose to go to the moon". According to Forbes, the state Mousavi is estimated at $ 2.9 billion.

Maezawa did not immediately say who would be on his guest list for the spaceflight, but in response to a question from a reporter he said he would consider inviting Musk.

Next month brings the 50th anniversary of Apollo 7, which included the first live television broadcast from space, while December marks 50 years since Apollo 8, which was the first human mission to fly around the moon (without landing)-basically the same route Maezawa and his crew will take. Twelve of them even walked on the Moon's surface.

Maezawa, 42, is the chief executive of Start Today Co., which he founded in 1998 as a CD sales business when he was still in his 20s.

Musk also revealed tonight that Maezawa is the person who previously booked a two-person, round-the-moon trip with SpaceX aboard the company's Dragon capsule.

"Maybe we'll both be on it", Elon Musk said after Maezawa's invitation.

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

Musk has put NASA and the Air Force - which collaborates with the space agency in myriad ways - in the awkward position of having to respond to controversial conduct recently. He is best known elsewhere for paying a record $110 million previous year for a 1982 painting by the late Jean-Michel Basquiat. "They say, who is this Maezawa person?"

Two of Musk's fellow billionaires - Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Virgin Group's Richard Branson - also want to make a business out of space tourism.

He made headlines in 2016 when he paid more than $57 million at auction for an untitled work by Basquiat.

"It's unsafe to be clear", Musk said.

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