Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Japanese Fashion Billionaire and Elon Musk Announce Moon Mission

Japanese Fashion Billionaire and Elon Musk Announce Moon Mission

SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-priced reusable Falcon 9 rockets.

Instead, Musk's firm promised to announce the identity of the soon-to-be-astronaut on Monday, September 17.

Musk said on Twitter SpaceX's contracts with NASA remain a top priority, including the commercial crew program to shuttle NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. He said he wanted the artists "to see the moon up close, and the earth in full view, and create work to reflect their experience".

Musk's made the announcement during a brief event streamed live online. The SpaceX rocket was first announced in 2016, and is more powerful than the Saturn V Moon rocket which launched the Apollo missions.

Tesla's Elon Musk has picked Maezawa, 42, founder and CEO of Japan's largest e-commerce company Start Today Co to fly on SpaceX.

Maezawa, founder of clothing giant Zozo, is to travel aboard the company's BFR - Big Falcon Rocket, or as Musk calls it, Big F***ing Rocket - a "massive" and "reusable" craft that SpaceX hopes will take humans to Mars by 2030, The Daily Telegraph says.

The new SpaceX strategy is to still fly around the moon without landing, but use an even bigger rocket still in development that has its own dedicated passenger ship.

Musk has not revealed how much his "Lunar BFR Mission" will cost in the long run, but Maezawa surely won't have a hard time footing the bill.

Maezawa famously spent $110 million on a 1982 painting by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and says he wants to invite other artists to join him in space.

Maezawa appear unfazed, talking about fusing his love of art and expression and a lifelong dream of going into space aboard SpaceX's BFR rocket.

The as-of-yet-unnamed patron will be paying a huge price for the privilege of traveling around the Moon, and SpaceX has a huge job ahead of it to actually make the trip happen.

Musk further said that this mission isn't a walk in the park and is risky.

The trip to the moon on the SpaceX rocket could take place as early as 2023.

SpaceX has had a string of successful rocket launches, but that has been overshadowed by the struggles of Musk's Tesla electric vehicle company to deliver and his behavior.

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