The last time astronauts orbited-not landed-on the moon was during the Apollo 13 mission in 1970. I want to share this experience and things. Maezawa has not yet chosen the artists who will accompany him and will be looking at top candidates from a wide range of disciplines, including painters, musicians, fashion designer, photographers, filmmakers, and architects.
Maezawa will soon start the process of choosing the artists to take with him, with everyone needing to go through training and preparation in the years leading up to launch.
And who does he want with him?
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa stood before the audience gathered at SpaceX headquarters Monday evening and was greeted by cheers when he echoed a line from a famous speech by President John F. Kennedy, proclaiming "I choose to go to the moon".
Of course, the craft is very far from completion and Musk has repeatedly set aspirational timelines for its development that never panned out, so this is all more or less conceptual.
The man's first travel to and around the Moon is being targeted for 2023, provided the Big Falcon Rocket is ready by then.
The project is incredibly ambitious and expensive - the total development costs for BFR are somewhere between $2 billion and $10 billion, Musk said.More news: Hurricane Florence Pounds the Carolinas as it Nears Landfall
While space flight is a more risky proposition - with Maezawa in his late 40s by 2023 - he said there are no training plans yet in place. "Some of Earth's greatest talents will board a spacecraft and be inspired in a way they have never been before", Maezawa's new #dearMoon website reads.
The trip would put the Japanese billionaire and entrepreneur in rarified company, as only 24 people have ever visited the moon, according to NASA. SpaceX did not reveal how much Maezawa paid, but just getting to low-Earth orbit costs a pretty penny.
"I think, overall, It's going to be great to inspire others", said Tracy Lamm, the chief operating officer at Space Center Houston. "I don't know", Musk said. He made a splash in the art world in 2017, when he spent $110.5 million on a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting at a Sotheby's auction, setting a record for an American artist's work at the time.
Musk provided some updates on the production design of the BFR, which will have a 100-ton payload capacity.
Regardless of who SpaceX picked to travel to the moon on the BFR, the announcement today represented a massive step for space travel.
SpaceX is on the verge of announcing the name of person who would be the first private passenger on a trip around the moon.
The tourism announcement comes as the company is racing to meet a tight deadline to start flying astronauts to and from the International Space Station aboard its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft.
But it looks like that lull may be coming to an end thanks to the efforts of SpaceX and its Big Falcon Rocket-the same rocket it hopes will one day carry people to Mars.