SpaceX to announce 1st private moon flight passenger

SpaceX gets first private passenger for moon trip

SpaceX gets first private passenger for moon trip

Elon Musk-founded SpaceX has announced that the company's first private passenger to the Moon will be Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.

The 42-year-old entrepreneur appeared at an event Monday evening at the space launch company's headquarters.

In typical fashion for any company owned by Elon Musk, they've made a decision to do so by blasting a single person - the world's first private passenger, around the moon and back to test the rocket's capability for far space travel.

Maezawa purchased all seats on the spaceship, and plans to select six to eight artists from a variety of disciplines to take the lunar journey with him in 2023.

Last year, Musk said the BFR's admittedly "ambitious" goal was to make a test flight to Mars in 2022, followed by a crewed flight to the Red Planet in 2024.

If successful, Maezawa's mission will mark a much-anticipated return to the Moon, which a human hasn't set foot on since 1972.

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Japanese retail figurehead and art collector Yusaku Maezawa today (18 September) announced his intention to fly around the moon on the SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

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

The company considered the would-be trip an "important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space".

Maezawa will spend about a week on the journey, according to SpaceX, which says the trip will come within up to 125 miles of the Moon's surface before turning around and returning to Earth.

The last time astronauts orbited-not landed-on the moon was during the Apollo 13 mission in 1970.

No guidance has been given on when the moon flight could happen.

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The businessman will not land on the moon itself, but will travel on what is known as a "free return trajectory", in a loop of sorts.

SpaceX said a year ago that it planned to send two private citizens around the moon in a Dragon crew capsule to be launched by a Falcon Heavy rocket.

The space agency is planning its own lunar flyby with a crew around 2023.

"For Elon Musk, the "BFR" will in the future be able to connect the Earth to any place in the solar system", provided to create fuel depots on Mars and elsewhere. Musk did not name the clients previous year or say how much they would pay.

SpaceX has established its bona fides in the aerospace business by transporting supplies to the International Space Station and by completing the tricky maneuver of recovering rockets after launch so that they can be reused. Last month he told the New York Times he was overwhelmed by job stress. The rescuer sued Musk on Monday in U.S. District Court in California for defamation.

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