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Japanese Billionaire Yasaku Maezawa To Fly Around The Moon With SpaceX
21 September 2018, 12:02 | Justin Tyler
Japanese billionaire to be sent to moon by SpaceX says he'll bring along architects and other artists
Like his sharing of art, Maezawa said on Monday that he also wants to share his experience of seeing the moon, explaining why he purchased every seat on the rocket for an undisclosed amount. Maezawa, an avid art collector, hopes the experience will inspire the artists to create new works based on their adventure. Musk did tell the audience the goal was "aspirational".
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk described Maezawa as the "bravest" and "best adventurer". Maezawa now has a net worth of $2.9 billion, according to Forbes. After launch, the BFR will make several course corrections and complete one loop around the moon before returning to Earth, where it will land upright, in a maneuver SpaceX has pioneered with its Falcon 9 rockets.
The BFR will stand about 387 feet (118 meters) tall, and both its rocket and spaceship components will be reusable.
Maezawa announced a name for his new project, #dearMoon, and a website, dearMoon.earth, and said that that between now and the BFR's launch in 2023 he would select six to eight artists to go with him to space.
The interstellar trip is all part of Maezawa's grand project, which he has named Dear Moon. "If you should hear from me, please say yes and accept my invitation".
"Nothing is written in stone", Maezawa said through a translator.
Maezawa didn't immediately say who will be on his guest list for the spaceflight, but in response to a question from a reporter he said he'd consider inviting Musk.
Musk and SpaceX engineers built a small submarine and shipped it to Thailand to help with the rescue. He sent out a series of tweets of appreciation for the agency, including one in response to Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
This could be humanity's first lunar visit since 1972, depending on how NASA's latest moon plans shape up.
After an uncrewed demonstration flight this fall and an in-flight abort test, U.S. Air Force Colonel Bob Behnken and former Marine Corps test pilot Doug Hurley will be the first two astronauts to fly in SpaceX's Crew Dragon.
But for now, the company has yet to fly a human into space.
Musk has put NASA and the Air Force - which collaborates with the space agency in myriad ways - in the awkward position of having to respond to controversial conduct recently. And earlier this month, a video of Musk smoking marijuana and drinking whiskey on a popular podcast circulated on social media.
Asked why the company made further changes, Musk said he "did not like the aesthetics" of the previous version.
Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa declared "I choose to go the the Moon" after being introduced by SpaceX's chief executive Elon Musk at the company's headquarters in California. He didn't discuss the other person. "He stepped forward", Musk added.
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