Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Elon Musk unveils first tourist for SpaceX 'Moon loop'

Elon Musk unveils first tourist for SpaceX 'Moon loop'

If all goes according to plan, Maezawa and his artist crew may become the first people to fly SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket - a new launch system that's being created to colonize Mars - and also the first-ever private lunar tourist in history. These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us'.

Who will fly with the mystery passenger is among the many questions that Musk is likely to address during the announcement.

Maezawa appear unfazed, talking about fusing his love of art and expression and a lifelong dream of going into space aboard SpaceX's BFR rocket.

Maezawa said: "I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the moon".

While the BFR has not been built yet, Musk has said he wants the rocket to be ready for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, with a crewed flight in 2024, though his ambitious production targets have been known to slip.

SpaceX announced in February 2017 that two people had signed up for a weeklong trek around the moon, which the company aimed to launch before the end of 2018.

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However, Elon Musk later said that the trip had been delayed to allow for the production of the BFR.

The mission is planned for 2023, and would be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972.

SpaceX announced on Monday night that its first moonshot passenger will be Yusaku Maezawa, a billionaire estimated by Forbes to be the 18th-richest person in Japan.

Over the weekend, Musk shared new renderings of the Big Falcon Rocket. "They will have to create something on their return to Earth". Only 24 humans have ever traveled to the rock, 12 of whom walked on its surface.

Eventually, the BFR should be able to lift a whopping 150 tonnes into low-Earth orbit - that is more than the US Saturn V rockets that lofted the Apollo spacecraft.

It also said it would reveal "why" - implying the mission may have a goal other than simply satisfying the whim of a wealthy client - as was the case with the first space tourist, Dennis Tito, an American businessman who in 2001 paid some $20 million to fly on a Russian spaceship to the International Space Station.

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The company is still developing the BFR rocket, which will be the successor to SpaceX's oft-used Falcon 9 rocket and its upgraded version, the Falcon Heavy.

"He has chosen us", said the mercurial founder of SpaceX, also boss of the vehicle manufacturer Tesla, whose Stock price has experienced ups and downs recently because of his antics.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk's space launch company said last week that the person will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the BFR, which is still in development.

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

Musk said the billionaire will pay "a lot of money" for the lunar orbit but he declined to disclose the exact amount.

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

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