SpaceX signs first private passenger to fly around the moon

18 September, 2018, 11:12 | Author: Kristi Owen
  • Elon Musk presents plans for a new SpaceX rocket in Adelaide

"This project is very meaningful - to be the first private passenger on the moon - but I also hope I can contribute to world peace, my lifelong dream", Maezawa said.

Maezawa, a prolific collector of modern art, said he planned to bring six to eight artists with him aboard the BFR, which stands for Big Falcon Rocket. Going forward, Musk and Maezawa will figure out details like training, but "nothing's written in stone". 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 vehicle. "This is not walk in the park here". "It's not a sure thing". Musk recalled the team only had four chances to get the rocket successfully into low-Earth orbit - and it only succeeded on its fourth and final try.

Questions at the event, we were told, were to stay "on topic" and it been a turbulent few weeks for Musk. Over the past two decades, the South African-born American entrepreneur has emerged as one of Silicon Valley's most recognized faces worldwide. (The British diver has sued him for defamation).

In August he had shocked investors by flirting on Twitter with the idea of taking Tesla private.

However, Musk used social media to drop hints ahead of the announcement.

Those comments add additional color to the updated narrative gradually trickling out of SpaceX as the company pushes towards a finalized "flight design" for the Mars-bound launch vehicle and spaceship, a critical step that must precede integrated design reviews and flight tests.


HAWTHORNE, California - Elon Musk and his rocket company, SpaceX, have revealed who will fly their spaceship around the moon for the first time: a Japanese entrepreneur and billionaire named Yusaku Maezawa.

But for now, the company has yet to fly a human into space. SpaceX, which is under contract by NASA to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station, recently announced it had to delay that first flight to April of next year. The space agency aims to build a gateway in the vicinity of the moon, complete with staff, during the 2020s.

Maezawa - described by SpaceX as a "fashion innovator" and "globally recognized art curator" - will be the first human to embark on a lunar mission since 1972, when the last Apollo mission went down.

Setbacks and delays, however, don't deter Musk or his relentless company, which has grown to 7,000 employees.

SpaceX's BFR (Big Falcon Rocket) could well be the most important single vehicle in the history of humankind, should the various predictions about humanity's need to eventually vacate Earth and set up colonies on Mars come true.

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