Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Japan fashion billionaire Maezawa picked by SpaceX for moon flight

Japan fashion billionaire Maezawa picked by SpaceX for moon flight

"I thought about how [this flight] could contribute to world peace", said Maezawa.

He said during a press conference that he planned to take six to eight artists with him on the mission.

The 42-year-old businessman (below), who made his fortune after launching an online fashion mall that became the largest in Japan, will make the journey aboard SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which is scheduled for testing next year.

"The reason for creating SpaceX was to accelerate the advent of humanity becoming a space bearing civilisations, to advance rocket technology to become a multiplanet species and becoming a true space bearing species", Musk said. "But I didn't want such an experience by myself, i want to share these experiences with others".

Musk didn't say how much money was involved in booking the artists' adventure, although he said that it was substantial.

"I wish to create awesome works of art for humankind", Maezawa said. "This will look really epic in person", Musk said. Musk said houses equipped with Tesla's Solar Roof would feed energy to Powerwall, a sleek storage unit created to act as an electricity fill-up station for both the house and a Tesla electric auto.

"Its not 100 percent certain we can bring this to flight", Musk said of the lunar mission.

The mission will not involve a lunar landing. As the Times noted, the Falcon Heavy has undergone only one live test and SpaceX no longer plans to certify it for human flight.

NASA is planning its own lunar flyby with a crew around 2023. The space agency aims to build a gateway in the vicinity of the moon, complete with staff, during the 2020s. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

A man with an artistic bent, Maezawa was part of a band when he founded Start Today in 1998, which was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2007. A year later he paid more than $110 million auction for another piece by the same artist.

On September 13, SpaceX revealed that it had signed a private passenger to fly around the moon on its Big Falcon Rocket, though it wouldn't reveal who that passenger was until September 17.

Russian and Chinese companies are also working on space tourism plans.

The whole trajectory of the trip, according to Musk, should take four to five days.

SpaceX is already making headlines around the world for its efforts to make spaceflight more affordable for organizations like NASA as well as private companies, but today the company will announce something truly revolutionary.

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla Motors, has drawn attention in recent months over his erratic behavior.

The moon journey announcement came just hours after it was confirmed that the British diver Vernon Unsworth had filed a defamation lawsuit over Musk labelling him a "pedo".

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