US private space firm SpaceX on September 17, 2018 signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) launch vehicle.
Japanese billionaire and founder of online fashion giant Zozo, Yusaku Maezawa will be the first Moon tourist on SpaceX’s Lunar BFR Mission. Maezawa wants to take six to eight artists from around the world on the nearly week-long trip to the Moon.
However, the company declined to reveal the amount Maezawa paid for the mission, but confirmed that he is paying a very significant amount of money.
The successful landing of Yusaku Maezawa on the Moon will enable access for commoners who dream of traveling to space. Till now, only two dozen people have been to the Moon, with the final Apollo Mission of 1972, marking the last time a human visited the moon.
Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) Mission
• Earlier in February 2017, the SpaceX had announced that two passengers would be flying around the Moon in the Crew Dragon Capsule, launched by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. However later in the beginning of 2018, Musk said SpaceX is considering using the Big Falcon Rocket instead.
• The BFR was first announced in 2016, and was touted as the most powerful rocket in history, even more potent than the Saturn V Moon rocket that launched the Apollo missions five decades ago.
• The Big Falcon Rocket is a massive, 35-story tall rocket designed to launch and land like SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, but could carry dozens of people on board instead of just satellites.
• BFR is the dream mission of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk who launched the construction of the vehicle with a vision to create a permanent, self-sustaining human presence on Mars.
• The testing on this massive rocket is expected to begin in 2019.
• The mission is expected to launch in 2023.
• Yusaku Maezawa is Chief Executive of Japan's largest online fashion mall Zozotown.
• He is the 18th richest person in Japan with a fortune of USD 3 billion, according to the business magazine Forbes.
• Maezawa is also known as an contemporary art collector and curator with a large collection at his Contemporary Art Foundation in Tokyo, which features works of various renowned painters like Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
• In 2017, he announced the acquisition of a Jean-Michel Basquiat masterpiece worth USD 110.5 million.
• He was also in Florida at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in February 2018 to watch the maiden launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket.
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