Japanese Billionaire Will Fly To The Moon With SpaceX, Elon Musk Says

Carlton Robbins
September 20, 2018

"Finally I can tell you that 'I choose to go to the moon, '" Maezawa said, echoing President John F. Kennedy's famous phrase.

How much did Maezawa may SpaceX for the trip?

"Why do I want to go to the moon?"

The businessman, who founded Japan's biggest online fashion retailer Zozotown, added: "What if Picasso had gone to the moon?"

The mission is planned to launch on 2023 and it will be the first moon landing by humans since NASA's Apollo 17 landed in 1972.

Musk introduced Yusaku Maezawa, founder of the worldwide custom-fit clothing company Zozo and an avid art collector, as the one who is investing in the spaceship project in order to take the trip, possibly in 2023.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says Maezawa will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the BFR, which is still in development.

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"It's always been there, it's always been inside of me", Maezawa said, before transitioning to Japanese to say the moon has always "felt like it's protecting me".

"These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth", he said.

An art lover with a vision, the Japanese entrepreneur has chose to not just buy a seat on the rocket, but every seat available-in fact he's already made a down payment that will help with BFR development costs.

During the same press conference, Musk unveiled an updated design for the BFR rocket; it now stands at 118 meters, making it taller than the original Apollo mission rockets, which sent the first astronauts to the Moon. According to Forbes magazine's rich list, there are 34 Japanese-born billionaires in the world, though many of them may be too old to take the trip.

He said then that two people who know each other approached the company about a weeklong flight to the moon and back.

"He's paying a lot of money that would help with the ship and its booster", Musk said on Monday.

SpaceX has had a string of successful rocket launches, but that has been overshadowed by the struggles of Musk's Tesla electric auto company to deliver and his behavior. Originally, the Falcon Heavy - which completed its first static test fire earlier this year - was scheduled to carry space tourists to the moon and back in late 2018.

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