SpaceX is flying this Japanese billionaire around the moon

Elon Musk has revealed the private space tourist that SpaceX is taking to the moon to be Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa. The 42-year-old is the brainchild behind Japan’s second largest ecommerce company, Start Today Co. In 2004, Maezawa also founded Zozotown, the fashion retail site he has since cultivated to become Japan’s largest. 

Maezawa will take up to eight artists and “cultural figures” with him on the celestial journey, one of whom – if you count him under this subcategory – could be Musk himself, reports Bloomberg. The Japanese businessman took to Twitter to announce whimsically, “I choose to go to the moon, with Artists. #dearMoon”. 

The pair has been rustling up quite the fanfare on Twitter, with Musk posting a picture of a beaming Maezawa riding on his shoulders. “Hanging out with @yousuck2020 before the @SpaceX moon mission,” he captioned it. 

The odyssey will take place in 2023, on SpaceX’s BFR rocket, Musk has announced.

News of the journey has been emanating from SpaceX’s official Twitter account – altogether more grounded than Musk’s own – which reported that “SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle—an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of travelling to space”.

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The announcement comes at a time when things are looking up for SpaceX; Musk’s brainchild recently completed its 16th mission of the year, successfully launching a 7,060kg satellite (its second heaviest ever) into space. And while it may sound like a gimmick, this latest moon venture is no mean feat; as SpaceX was keen to point out, only 24 humans have ever been to the moon in history. Shockingly, the last time someone visited was during the Apollo mission, in 1972. That’s 46 years ago!

For now, it looks like Frank Sinatra’s dream is once again becoming someone else’s reality.

Lead image: David DeHetre, used under Creative Commons 

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