Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa To Be First Tourist To Moon: SpaceX

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A Japanese billionaire who wants to take his love of art to the heavens will be the first private passenger to fly around the moon, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced Monday.

The fashion tycoon says he intends to take along artists from around the world who will then create artworks based on the experience, to help "inspire the dreamer within each of us". He loves Jean-Michel Basquiat, he purchased a piece past year to $ 110.5 million. Or Andy Warhol or Michael Jackson or John Lennon?

Musk didn't say how much money was involved in booking the artists' adventure, although he said that it was substantial.

"The reason for creating SpaceX was to accelerate the advent of humanity being a space-bearing civilization", Musk said during his opening remarks.

The BFR will stand about 387 feet (118 meters) tall, and both its rocket and spaceship components will be reusable.

The moon mission won't be as unsafe as a trip to the Red Planet, but there will still be considerable risk involved.

A total of 24 NASA astronauts - all white men - voyaged to the Moon during the Apollo era of the 1960s and '70s.

Maezawa, 42, will be the first lunar traveler since the last US Apollo mission in 1972. The space agency aims to build a gateway in the vicinity of the moon, complete with staff, during the 2020s.

Maezawa, a former musician, founded the retail firm Start Today in 1998 and built it into one of Japan's most successful companies. A year later, he paid more than $110 million auction for another piece by the same artist.

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As curiosity mounts over the futuristic BFR, Musk tweeted three images, showing it will consist of a first stage with engines and fuel systems, and a second stage with the spacecraft where the passengers will ride.

Nevertheless, Musk said the Japanese billionaire actually chose his company for the Lunar mission, and not the other way around.

Russian and Chinese companies are also working on space tourism plans.

Back to the space trip - and this is where it gets interesting.

It was designed with the objective of exploring Mars with the ultimate goal of colonising the planet.

If you were dreaming of being the first private citizen in space. you've been beaten to it. He also encouraged Musk to join the mission.

Two high-level executives announced departures from Tesla, and the diver sued Musk on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Musk was sued for defamation by the British driver he had accused of being a "child rapist" and pedophile via tweets and emails to media.

It is, for Elon Musk, the objective of SpaceX.