SpaceX disclosed on Monday the name of its first private passenger, Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa.
Former drummer in a punk band and founder of online textile distributor Zozo, the billionaire will take a trip around the moon. This is scheduled for 2023. Maezawa will be the first passenger to travel to the moon since the end of the Apollo missions in the United States in 1972.
To make his incredible journey, he will be aboard SpaceX’s next spaceship, Big Falcon Rocket (BFX), which remains to be built.
Maezawa’s identity was revealed at an event held Monday night at SpaceX headquarters and the rocket plant in Hawthorne, a suburb of Los Angeles.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 18, 2018
Maezawa is best known outside of Japan for buying a $110 million untitled painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1982. He said he would invite six to eight artists to join him for the mission in lunar orbit.
Elon Musk said he would like the BFR rocket to be ready for an unmanned flight to Mars in 2022, and then for a crewed flight in 2024.
The price paid by Yusaku Maezawa was not disclosed.
SpaceX’s competitors are Blue Origin, the company of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, and Virgin Galactic of entrepreneur Richard Branson.
Among the celebrities who signed with Virgin Galactic are Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber. A 90-minute flight costs US $250,000.
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