SpaceX will take a Japanese billionaire on a trip around the Moon

Elon Musk

Elon Musk with Yusaku Maezawa

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first paying tourist to fly around the moon, and the 42-year-old said this week that he wants company for the week-long journey: Maezawa plans to invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people to join him on the SpaceX rocket "to inspire the dreamer in all of us". The First SpaceX BFR Passenger To The MoonSpaceX recently announced that the first private citizen has signed up to take the trip to the moon, inside the company's BFR.

Each artist invited by Maezawa will be asked to create a work after they return based on their experience. The Japanese billionaire bought every seat on the SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket. The reusable 118-meter (387-foot) rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship.

Maezawa's ride on the SpaceX rocket isn't scheduled until 2023.

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United States private space agency SpaceX will live stream the BFR mission in hight-definition virtual reality, carrying Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire and the founder of Japan's largest cloth retailer Zozotown. "This is not us choosing him", Musk said.

Musk outlined a somewhat different SpaceX lunar mission previous year. The last humans to land on the moon were scientists Harrison "Jack" Schmitt and astronaut Eugene "Gene" Cernan of the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

Of course he paid a huge sum, though Musk refused to reveal how much.

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Maezawa, founder of fashion retail website Zozo and avid art collector, is well, over the moon, about the prospect of being Space X's first space tourist. The same rocketship will be used by the private space agency to launch its Mars colonization mission.

After all, as he muses on the project's site: "If Pablo Picasso had been able to see the moon up-close, what kind of paintings would he have drawn?"

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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The British diver, Vernon Unsworth, sued Musk for defamation on Monday and is seeking more than $75,000. The device wasn't used and in the interview, Unsworth called it a "PR stunt" and said it wouldn't have worked to free the boys who were trapped in the flooded cave.

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