Japanese billionaire to invite artists to fly on SpaceX moon mission

News					SpaceX’s BFR rocket and spaceship look more real than ever in new 4K renders

News SpaceX’s BFR rocket and spaceship look more real than ever in new 4K renders

SpaceX, Elon Musk's space transportation company, on Monday named its first private passenger on a voyage around the moon as Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, the founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo.

The Japanese billionaire is also known as a contemporary art collector and curator with a large collection at his Contemporary Art Foundation in Tokyo, which features works of various renowned painters like Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Maezawa appear unfazed, talking about fusing his love of art and expression and a lifelong dream of going into space aboard SpaceX's BFR rocket. Under the current design, the BFR will be 118 meters long, with a payload capacity of 1,100 cubic meters and 100 metric tons.

The as-of-yet-unnamed patron will be paying a huge price for the privilege of traveling around the Moon, and SpaceX has a huge job ahead of it to actually make the trip happen. Its last rocket, the Falcon Heavy, had its first successful launch almost five years later than planned. He also encouraged Musk to join the mission.

If it all goes to plan this will be the first manned mission to the moon since the Apollo 17 landing back in 1972.

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Shortly after his successful Falcon Heavy Launch, Musk said he expected a "full-scale test" of the massive rocket within the next few years.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk described Maezawa as the "bravest" and "best adventurer".

In 2017, Mr Musk announced that he would be sending two paying passengers on a loop around the Moon - which was to have launched as early as this year. The first portion of the system has already been built, Musk said.

SpaceX now has a $1.6 billion contract with NASA to supply the astronauts living at the ISS, via regular cargo trips on its Dragon spaceship, launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

Here are the latest BFR pictures Musk showed, how the in-development spacecraft has changed, and why tweaks that SpaceX engineers made are so important for the company's ultimate goal of colonizing Mars. 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. Bezos' Blue Origin has been tight-lipped about the price of its tickets, but Reuters reported in July that they could cost in the $200,000 range. The rocket dubbed BFR has not been built so any flight presumably is at least several years away.

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