Saturday, 20 October, 2018

SpaceX close to announcing 1st private moon flight passenger

Enlarge Image Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa speaks about his moon mission through SpaceX.                  Video screenshot by CNET Enlarge Image Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa speaks about his moon mission through SpaceX. Video screenshot by CNET
| 18 September, 2018, 10:17

Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa speaks about his moon mission through SpaceX.

"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.

Our correspondent, Mary MacCarthy, joins us from Los Angeles. I want to share this experience with as many people as possible.

Shortly after his successful Falcon Heavy Launch, Musk said he expected a "full-scale test" of the massive rocket within the next few years.

The diminutive Maezawa, who as a young man struggled to find clothes that fit, hopes to revolutionize the fashion industry through his Zozosuit, which once donned allows users to upload their body measurements and order a growing number of made-to-measure items.

Ahead of tonight's reveal of the lucky individual who will be traveling around the moon in SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket, Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to tease the spacecraft.

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

Japanese billionaire, entrepreneur and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, 42, announced: "I choose to go to the Moon".

"The artists that fly on the "#dearMoon" mission will be asked to create works of art after the mission inspired by the flight.


SpaceX is now prototyping the spaceship and other BFR hardware inside a 20,000-square-foot tent at the Port of Los Angeles - at least until a much bigger permanent facility is completed.

The company signed Maezawa to fly on its BFR launch vehicle on Thursday, in what would be "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space". Find out who's flying and why on Monday, September 17'.

The announcement at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., followed days of speculation over the identity of the first passenger - and months of chatter about the capabilities of the BFR, an acronym for "Big Falcon Rocket" in its G-rated interpretation.

An initial series of "hopper" test flights of the BFR spaceship are still planned to take place next year at SpaceX's South Texas launch site under development.

SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell gave a more generous time frame for BFR's debut during a TED Talk in April, saying it would launch "within a decade".

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

The rocket factory continues to hum along, so much so that during a recent media event to introduce the NASA astronauts assigned to fly on SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, there was a constant din of the factory that went on uninterrupted.

"This would be a long loop around the moon", stated Mr. Musk in regard to the private citizen flight of BFR.

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