Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, revealed the name of the first tourist to be sent aboard the Big Falcon Rocket (also known as the BFR) in the first space tourism flight around the Moon, an ambitious project by the privet space company.
The mission, now planned for 2023, will take place on SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket.
"I thought long and hard about how valuable it would be to become the first private passenger to go to the moon", Maezawa said.
Maezawa, 42, said he plans to invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people to join him on board the SpaceX rocket "to inspire the dreamer in all of us". SpaceX's other major venture thus far, the Falcon Heavy, which is a reusable heavy lift launch vehicle, took almost twice as long to complete than expected.
Musk said he would not reveal the price Maezawa paid for the Moon trip, but said it would be "free for the artists".
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced tonight (Sept. 17) that he chooses to go to the moon in 2023 - and bring six to eight artists along for the ride.
The lunar mission could take four or five days, which would feel like a hot minute to Kelly, who has logged 520 days in space, including a yearlong mission on the International Space Station. If all had gone according to schedule, SpaceX would now be gearing up for its first lunar flight, fulfilling its pledge early previous year to launch a pair of tourists "faster and farther into the solar system than any before them". He will be the first lunar traveler since the last US Apollo mission in 1972.
The flight will be a significant test of the 348-foot-tall rocket system that SpaceX hopes to use to fly 100 colonists at a time to Mars.
"Maybe we'll both be on it", Elon Musk said after Maezawa's invitation.
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 paid $110.5 million for Basquiat's 1982 painting of a graffiti-like black and blue rendition of a human skull, a record price for an American artist, at a Sotheby's auction past year.
"He is the bravest person and the most willing to do so, and he was the best adventurer I think", Musk said of Maezawa.
It's not the same mission SpaceX founder Elon Musk outlined past year.
Scott Kelly knows a thing or two about space travel.
"It's unsafe to be clear", Musk said. Last month he told the New York Times he was overwhelmed by job stress.
Musk, 47, made it clear before the private passenger event that crewed spaceflight for NASA remains SpaceX's top priority.