Saturday, 20 October, 2018

SpaceX says it will fly private passenger 'around the Moon'

What you need to know about the first tourist that SpaceX is taking around the moon Japanese billionaire to be sent to moon by SpaceX says he'll bring along architects and other artists
| 21 September, 2018, 16:00

Maezawa announced a name for his new project, #dearMoon, and a website, dearMoon.earth, and said that that between now and the BFR's launch in 2023 he would select six to eight artists to go with him to space.

At Tuesday's announcement, the 42-year-old specified he would like to invite artists from around the world to join his mission to the Moon, adding that "they will be asked to create something after they return to Earth". He said then that two people who know each other approached the company about a weeklong flight to the moon and back.

"Maybe we'll both be on it", Elon Musk said after Maezawa's invitation.

Maezawa is not shy when it comes to spending his riches, as evidenced when he made headlines for shelling out a record $110.5 million for Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 painting of a skull past year.

He said he often mused about what artists like Basquiat or Andy Warhol might have come up with if they had traveled into space.

"I wish to create fantastic works of art for humankind", Maezawa said. But Maezawa's net worth is estimated at just shy of three billion by Forbes, and Musk said the fashion magnate's deposit for the trip was "significant", i.e. likely in the tens or even hundreds of millions.

"It's not 100 percent certain we can bring this to flight", Musk said of the lunar mission. "And late Sunday, Musk further fueled the anticipation by tweeting out artist renderings of the massive launch vehicle that SpaceX is developing to fly into deep space, with a simple message: "#OccupyMars". Musk would not say what the trip would cost, but did say that the design of the almost 400-foot tall rocket had evolved recently, with the first flights to orbit coming in two to three years.


The lunar mission could take four or five days, which would feel like a hot minute to Kelly, who has logged 520 days in space, including a yearlong mission on the International Space Station.

For quite a long time we have been hearing that SpaceX was considering taking some private tourists to the moon as part of its next expedition. If all had gone according to schedule, SpaceX would now be gearing up for its first lunar flight, fulfilling its pledge early previous year to launch a pair of tourists "faster and farther into the solar system than any before them". No one has been there since an Apollo mission in 1972.

Branson's Virgin Galactic has sold tickets for about $250,000, which is more than the median home price in the United States.

The company noted that the trip will last about a week.

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

SpaceX said it has signed the first private moon traveler, with some changes to its original game plan.

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

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