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First SpaceX moon flight passenger Yusaku Maezawa

2018-09-18 05:40
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa said Sept. 17 that he plans to blast off on the first-ever private commercial trip around the moon and will invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people on the weeklong journey "to inspire the dreamer in all of us." The SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket is scheduled to make the trip in 2023, company founder Elon Musk announced at an event on Sept. 17, at its headquarters near Los Angeles. Maezawa, 42, said he wants his guests for the lunar orbit "to see the moon up close, and the Earth in full view, and create work to reflect their experience." Musk said the entrepreneur, founder of Japan's largest retail website and one the country's richest people, will pay "a lot of money" for the trip, but declined to disclose the exact amount. Maezawa came to SpaceX with the idea for the group flight, Musk said. "I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself," said Maezawa, wearing a blue sports jacket over a white T-shirt with printed with a work by the late painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. He said he often mused about what artists like Basquiat or Andy Warhol might have come up with if they'd traveled into space. "I wish to create amazing works of art for humankind," Maezawa said. Credit: AP