Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Research | By Dana Schwartz

Elon Musk announces the first passenger for SpaceXs Moon trip

Elon Musk announces the first passenger for SpaceXs Moon trip

It has not yet been confirmed which artists Maezawa would invite, but he has suggested that it would be artists who inspire him personally which would be chosen.

Of course, the trip will be all expenses paid for the artists.

Billionaire Maezawa, founder of online fashion outlet Zozotown, will pay a "material percentage" of the spacecraft's design and construction costs, according to Musk.

For all the rocket trips into space in recent decades, no human has traveled into lunar orbit (let alone onto the surface of the moon) since NASA's Apollo missions ended in 1972.

SpaceX announced in February 2017 that two people had signed up for a trip around the moon it aimed to launch before the end of 2018.

Mr Maezawa did not immediately say who will be on his guest list for the spaceflight, but in response to a question from a reporter he said he would consider inviting Mr Musk.

In 2023, Maezawa hopes to pile six to eight artists inside SpaceX's giant new launch system called BFR, which stands for Big Falcon Rocket (or, as Musk has described it, Big F--ing rocket).

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"Ever since I was a kid I have loved the moon", Maezawa said.

The company has revealed little else about the trip, and it's anyone's guess when it might actually happen. Elon Musk confirmed that the company has already done a few tests on key components of the rocket such as pressure tests of the propellant tanks and ignition tests on the Raptor engines.

Mr Maezawa then explained he had hired the entire shuttle, not just one seat, adding that he wanted to be joined by several artists.

The BFR is a long way from reality and Musk himself says he's "not 100 percent certain we can bring this to flight". It has contracts with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration to carry cargo and crew to the International Space Station.

"Maybe we'll both be on it", Mr Musk said with a smile.

And the 2023 date, by the way, is far from set in stone: A lot of development and testing work will have to go well for SpaceX to hit that target, Musk said.

The rocket firm originally planned to send two private citizens on a space trip around Earth's closest neighbour, using the company's Big Falcon Rocket.

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