SpaceX To Name Mystery Moon Traveler

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The 42-year-old billionaire is the founder of Zozotown and is believed to have a net worth of £2.8 billion. He is also an art collector, shelling out $80 million in 2016 for paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso, Forbes reported.

While Maezawa is relatively unknown outside the archipelago and the art world, he's guaranteed to become more famous with his plan to fly to Earth's biggest satellite with a cabal of artists. He will ask them to create works based on their experience as part of a project called #dearMoon. "These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us", the future amateur astronaut told reporters.

Until now, Americans are the only ones who have left Earth's orbit.

Astronauts last visited the moon during Nasa's Apollo programme. The outpost would serve as a stepping-off point for the lunar surface, Mars and points beyond.

SpaceX has not talked much about putting private citizens in space since February 2017. It will also have seven Raptor engines and forward- and rear-actuated fins that Musk describes as being "like giant wings". 'We are honored that he chose us'.

Neither Maezawa nor Musk would disclose the price of the flight, but Musk said that Maezawa - who had been one of the two customers for SpaceX's earlier plans for a circumlunar flight on a Dragon announced almost 18 months ago, but since shelved - had already made a down payment.

'This is risky, to be clear. "This is not walk in the park here". "You have to set some kind of date that's the things-go-right date". There's some chance that something could go wrong.

"As far as me going, I'm not sure", Musk responded. He did suggest like maybe that I would join on this trip.

"I know that sounds insane, and we don't usually meet our time lines, but I wanted you to know at least order of magnitude, that's what we're thinking", Shotwell said. Maezawa said during an announcement Monday evening.

But it is reliant on a rocket that has not been built yet, and Mr Musk cautioned: "It's not 100% certain we can bring this to flight".

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The lunar voyager will be launched into space aboard SpaceX's new Big Falcon Rocket system.

Last week, SpaceX announced it had signed up its first passenger for a trip to the moon.

After the announcement was made that at-the-time-mystery-passenger Maezawa would be revealed on the 17th, Elon Musk tweeted out a cryptic tweet with a single Japanese flag emoji.

He had said that the trip would happen this year and would not involve a landing, but rather a long loop around the moon.

SpaceX has revealed the name of the passenger who has paid for a circumlunar navigation voyage aboard the company's under construction BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) vehicle.

Musk estimates development costs for the BFR rocket will reach about $5 billion.

The BFR spacecraft's shape is reminiscent of the space shuttle, the bus-like U.S. spaceships that carried astronauts to space 135 times from 1981 to 2011.

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.

Two of Musk's fellow billionaires - Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Virgin Group's Richard Branson - also want to make a business out of space tourism.

Branson's Virgin Galactic has sold tickets for about $250,000, which is more than the median home price in the United States.