Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced as SpaceX’s first moon tourist

BTW

Space X CEO Elon Musk announced plans on Monday to launch the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) into space with its first paying customer, Yusaku Maezawa, aboard.

Maezawa, the billionaire founder of Japanese fashion retail site Zozotown, also launched his tie-in project, the Dear Moon Project, to recruit artists to accompany him. He plans to bring up to eight creative people—from film directors to painters—on his 5-day journey. The website calls the mission a “global, universal art project.”

Screengrab via Twitter/SpaceX

“Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon,” Maezawa said during a press event at SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California headquarters on Monday. “Just staring at the moon fueled my imagination.”

The mission is expected to launch in 2023. The artists and creatives won’t have to pay to ride to the moon; Maezawa is funding the expedition. But he did not reveal how much money he is putting down.

The last time a human visited the moon was in 1972 for the Apollo 17 mission. This team would mark the first crewed lunar mission in 50 years. It’s a big opportunity, but who will get to go?

On Twitter, people have offered some suggestions, from Christopher Nolan to Kanye West.

Other have pointed out that Carl Sagan would have loved this mission.

There’s even a reference to sending a poet to space in Contact.

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.