Monday, 15 October, 2018

SpaceX names Japanese CEO as passenger to Moon - News - NHK WORLD - English

SpaceX To Name Mystery Moon Traveler SpaceX to announce 1st private moon flight passenger
Doris Mccormick | 23 September, 2018, 17:58

A Japanese billionaire who wants to take his love of art to the heavens will be the first private passenger to fly around the moon, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced Monday. He followed that up on Sunday with tweets showing new artist renderings of the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, the super heavy-lift launch vehicle that Musk promises will shuttle the passenger to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars, using the hashtag #OccupyMars.

Currently, SpaceX is not disclosing the sum of money that Maezawa is handing over to book out an entire rocket to the moon.

The trip is tentative set to occur in 2023. He will ask them to create works based on their experience as a part of the #dearMoon project.

The new BFR moon mission presumably will replace the original Falcon Heavy flight touted by Musk a year ago. "But I wouldn't recommend doing that, because I think the new architecture, the BFR architecture, is the way to go".

Aside from a handful of millionaires and billionaires hitching rides on Russian Soyuz rockets, space tourism has remained in an embryonic state since Dennis Tito became the first paying astronaut in 2001.

It's not 100% certain we can bring this to flight.

Maezawa's trip to the moon will be made on board a BFR, which is now still in development.

Bottom line: Elon Musk and SpaceX headquarters plan to send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa - with a group of artists - on a loop around the moon and back to Earth in 2023.

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SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk outlined a somewhat different mission a year ago.

No one has gone to the moon since the Apollo astronauts, with the last trip in 1972. "Usually there are many setbacks and issues", Musk said.

Maezawa isn't the first tourist to the space. "There's some chance something could go wrong".

Musk, who is well-known for issuing overly ambitious schedules, said during a Q&A in March that he hoped to begin testing the spaceship portion of the BFR sometime in 2019.

"I'm not afraid at all.I trust him, and I trust [the] SpaceX team", Maezawa said.

Musk said Maezawa had outlaid a significant deposit and would have a material impact on the cost of developing the BFR, which he estimated at about $5 billion. It consists of a massive rocket booster that promises to out-power any that has ever been built and a towering spacecraft, nicknamed BFS for Big Falcon Spaceship, that will vault out of the Earth's atmosphere.

Taken at face value, the new BFR art suggests SpaceX has made some slight changes to the huge, crewed spaceship.

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