SpaceX signs up Japanese billionaire for circumlunar BFR flight

Enlarge Image Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa speaks about his moon mission through SpaceX.                  Video screenshot by CNET

Enlarge Image Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa speaks about his moon mission through SpaceX. Video screenshot by CNET

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, founder of Japan's largest online clothing retailer site Zozotown, will the company's first private customer to be sent to the moon. The company will livestream the big reveal at 9 p.m. EDT. You can also watch the stream in this story. And earlier this month, a video of Musk smoking marijuana and drinking whiskey on a popular podcast circulated on social media.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted a picture of a Japanese flag.

Last year, he said two paying tourists would circle the Moon in 2018, but those plans that did not materialize.

The current record was set on 15 April 1970 by the three-person crew of Apollo 13, who made it 400,171 km (248,655 mi) from Earth as their crippled craft swung around the dark side of the moon. Two years later would mark the last time NASA astronauts would visit the lunar surface.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced Monday night that entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa would be the first private person to fly aboard its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) launch vehicle. Whoever it is, it's probably safe to assume that they are sufficiently wealthy to spend more money than we'll see in a lifetime on a (literally) out-of-this-world moon-shot vacation.

The rocket factory continues to hum along, so much so that during a recent media event to introduce the NASA astronauts assigned to fly on SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, there was a constant din of the factory that went on uninterrupted.

Observatory on Federal Bureau of Investigation lockdown sparks claims of alien life
Mr McAteer added that the government officials "locked all the doors" as they were leaving but he doesn't know why. The team that operators the telescope at the observatory have confirmed there was no alien sighting.

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. That design is likely to continue undergoing major shifts well beyond the commencement of integrated Grasshopper-style hop tests of BFR's spaceship upper stage (known as BFS), as flight-testing the rocket's major components will nearly invariably result in design changes, be it major or minor. The BFR's principal objective is to carry settlers and their stuff to Mars, 100 passengers at a time. According to Musk, the spaceship could shuttle about 100 passengers to the red planet.

BFR will inevitably borrow heavily from almost a decade of designing, building, testing, launching, and upgrading 60+ Falcon 9 and Heavy rockets, all successes and failures included.

Shotwell estimated that the BFR will launch within a decade.

The BFR is an ambitious launch system that's being prototyped at the Port of Los Angeles.

Check back for updates during and after the announcement.

Recommended News

  • Trump Orders Declassification Of Documents In Russia Investigation

    Watters said the documents could show proof of "political persecution" of President Trump and his allies. Trump also ordered the department to declassify interviews with Justice Department official Bruce G.
    Typhoon Mangkhut slams South China after hitting the Philippines

    Typhoon Mangkhut slams South China after hitting the Philippines

    Muddy river waters swamped entire communities and the coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina, was cut off by the flood waters. Residents hunkered down in their apartments, and streets in the usually buzzing city were deserted Sunday.
    Defending champ France advances to Davis Cup final

    Defending champ France advances to Davis Cup final

    The US, the tournament's most successful nation, could still meet the French in what would be their first final since 2007. Reigning Davis Cup champions France are through to another final after dispatching Spain 3-0 on Saturday.
  • PATRICK STEWART To Play Third Iconic Leader, BOSLEY

    PATRICK STEWART To Play Third Iconic Leader, BOSLEY

    While Murray didn't return for the sequel, Bernie Mac played Bosley's brother, Jimmy Bosley, in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle . Presumably, Banks will be the Bosley giving the orders to K-Stew, Scott and Balinska, while the former Capt.

    Russian Federation loses contact with aircraft with 14 on board in Syria

    Sean Robertson tells VOA on Syrian claims of engaging missile targets over #Latakia "I can unequivocally say this is not us". "After the radar incident, 35 kilometers from the Syrian coast, a Russian Il-20 was lost, carrying 14 servicemen on board".
    Where Did Christine Blasey Ford Go to High School?

    Where Did Christine Blasey Ford Go to High School?

    The White House seemed to endorse the decision, with spokesman Raj Shah releasing a complementary statement Monday evening. Ms Feinstein on Sunday called on the FBI to investigate Ms Ford's story "before the Senate moves forward on this nominee".
  • United States  and European gambling regulators may crack down on loot boxes

    United States and European gambling regulators may crack down on loot boxes

    The declaration also notes that there are different frameworks for gambling regulation in different countries. Loot boxes-In-game purchases that offer randomized rewards.
    MP Leona Alleslev Leaves Liberal Caucus, Crosses Floor To Conservatives

    MP Leona Alleslev Leaves Liberal Caucus, Crosses Floor To Conservatives

    The Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP made the stunning announcement as MPs returned to Ottawa following their summer break. The move comes two months after Ms.
    Govt proposes merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena and Vijaya Bank

    Govt proposes merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena and Vijaya Bank

    As was in case of SBI , no employee of the three banks would have service conditions that are adverse to their present one. Jaitley said the merger would create a sustainable mega-bank which would be third largest in the country.
  • Amazon is Readying the Alexa Device You Dreamed of: a Microwave

    Amazon is Readying the Alexa Device You Dreamed of: a Microwave

    And in its most recent earnings report, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hinted at his ambition for making Alexa more widely used. Sonos has an Alexa-compatible amplifier and subwoofer, while GE has a microwave that can be connected to Alexa .
    At UN, US accuses Russian Federation  of 'cheating' on North Korea sanctions

    At UN, US accuses Russian Federation of 'cheating' on North Korea sanctions

    And it said North Korea is violating sanctions by transferring coal at sea and flouting an arms embargo and financial sanctions. It said some products allegedly were off-loaded from Russian ships, which were identified in the report.

    Paire gives France 1-0 lead against Spain in Davis Cup tie

    Performing as per the expectations, Paire thrashed Busta 7-5, 6-1, 6-0 in a clash that lasted for one-hour-and-54-minute. Later, Boria Coric defeated Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-3 to give Croatia a winning lead of 2-0 in the match.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.