Japanese Billionaire Will Fly To The Moon With SpaceX, Elon Musk Says

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19 September, 2018

The billionaire chief executive of electric auto maker Tesla Inc, Musk said the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, the super heavy-lift launch vehicle that he promises will shuttle passengers to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars, could be conducting its first orbital flights in two to three years.

And if you were wondering, "We'll do a bunch of test launches before having any people on board", Musk said. "I want to share this". He revealed he purchased all available seats for the BFR lunar mission and plans to invite six to eight artists from around the world to go with him. He added: "I choose to go to the Moon. with artists!" The artists have not yet been chosen, but part of the project will involve them creating work inspired by their lunar journey after they return to Earth.

Musk didn't say how much money was involved in booking the artists' adventure, although he said that it was substantial. He lives in Houston and has visited the SpaceX headquarters in California.

What is known is that the flight is expected to reach a distance from Earth of between 500,000 to 650,000 km (310,685 to 403,890 mi), making Maezawa and his passengers the farthest-travelling humans from Earth.

"It's hard to say what Elon Musk can do". Musk said the estimated cost of the overall BFR development was about $5 billion.

Musk cautioned at the news conference that SpaceX is not certain about the 2023 timing for the moon tourism mission. He's also asked SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to join him on the flight, to which Musk replied: "Maybe we'll both be on it".

At the BFR announcement this evening, Mr. Musk and Maezawa confirmed that the primary reason the mission switched to BFR was to increase the number of artists who could join Maezawa on the flight. Sixteen successful missions for SpaceX this year is a bright spot in an otherwise tumultuous few months for Musk, who is also chairman and chief executive officer of electric-car maker Tesla Inc.

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Maezawa made his fortune by founding the wildly popular shopping site Zozotown.

His most expensive purchase was for a large piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat for $110.5m (£84m), a record for the U.S. artist.

"I know that sounds insane, and we don't usually meet our time lines, but I wanted you to know at least order of magnitude, that's what we're thinking", Shotwell said.

At the time, SpaceX was to have used its heavy-lift Falcon Heavy rocket and the crewed version of the existing Dragon capsule. Musk has loudly touted the potential for the BFR to lead interplanetary colonization efforts; the Verge wrote Musk said the updated design is a roughly 117.96m-long (118 meter) two-stage vessel capable of carrying 100 metric tons of cargo to a theoretical future Mars colony if refueled in orbit.

But it looks like that lull may be coming to an end thanks to the efforts of SpaceX and its Big Falcon Rocket-the same rocket it hopes will one day carry people to Mars.

If you were dreaming of being the first private citizen in space. you've been beaten to it.

SpaceX CEO Musk first announced that the company would be sending tourists to the moon in February 2017, projecting a 2018 launch date.

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