Watch SpaceX introduce its first Moon trip passenger live

18 September, 2018, 11:14 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Enlarge Image Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa speaks about his moon mission through SpaceX.                  Video screenshot by CNET

42-year-old Maezawa is the founder of Zozotown, Japan's largest clothing marketplace that has operations in more than 72 countries and did $76 billion in sales last fiscal year.

He said he would invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people on the week-long journey to circumnavigate the moon in 2023.

'Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the Moon, ' Maezawa said at SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California, in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles, late Monday.

Before he introduced Maezawa, Musk outlined his company's space travel goals, warning of a possible event that could "end civilization", adding, "We should take action and become a multi-planet civilization as soon as possible".

Musk also used the announcement to announce some changes to the BFR design, focused on the upper stage, or spaceship, portion.

Those who have signed up to fly on Virgin Galactic sub-orbital missions include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber. When you're pushing the frontier, it's not a sure thing.

SpaceX has named Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa as the first paying passenger for the company's ambitious 2023 moon mission. Although its Falcon Heavy rocket was set to fly in 2013, the first, and only flight, of the heavy lifter happened some five years later, and lobbed Musk's Tesla Roadster into space to puzzle future extraterrestrial visitors. This lunar mission - a flyby, not a landing - represents "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space", SpaceX said in a tweet. If all had gone according to schedule, SpaceX would now be gearing up for its first lunar flight, fulfilling its pledge early past year to launch a pair of tourists "faster and farther into the solar system than any before them".

The spacecraft will continue on toward the Moon, powered by its own engines.

At the time, Musk said the pair approached SpaceX about sending them on a weeklong flight and paid a "significant" deposit for the trip.

Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic AND Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin are ALSO racing to pioneer the industry. A 90-minute flight costs US$250,000. Blue Origin's price has not been revealed.

Musk's successes have recently been overshadowed by his behaviour and the struggles of his Tesla electric vehicle company to deliver.

SpaceX announced it had reached an agreement to launch the tourist into space last Friday via Twitter.

Elon Musk just revealed the identity of the precious cargo hitching a ride around the moon with his rocket company: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.


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