Entrepreneur to become moon tourist

Yusaku Maezawa hopes to travel to the moon in 2023.
Yusaku Maezawa hopes to travel to the moon in 2023.
Image: SpaceX.

Here’s the deal: You spend a week in space, dressed like an astronaut, with all the comfort and discomfort that comes with it. In return, you become one of roughly two dozen people in history to have orbited the moon.

    Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, founder of the fashion line Zozo and art curator, decided to do just that. At a press conference this evening, the firm SpaceX announced that he will be the first private passenger to fly around the moon aboard the company's spacecraft.  A tweet by the company described this as “an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space.”
    Maezawa’s trip is planned for 2023. The spacecraft will be launched on the firm’s Big Falcon Rocket and will come as close as 125 miles from the moon’s surface, according to SpaceX. It will then complete lunar transit and return to Earth. Maezawa wishes to take six to eight artists on the trip.
   “Needless to say,” Maezawa remarked, “we have always been inspired by the moon.”
    Asked how much he paid to be a moon tourist, Maezawa said he could not answer, but it would be free for the artists. When asked if he made a down payment of any kind, he said, “Yes, I did,” but did not elaborate.
    At the announcement, Elon Musk, SpaceX founder, said he thought there should be regular trips to the moon, along with a lunar station.  
    Only 24 humans have been to the moon – and no one has done it since 1972.  It will be dangerous, Musk admitted. “We’ll leave a lot of extra room for extra fuel and oxygen, food and water, spare parts, … just in case something goes wrong.”


    Musk builds argument for a red-planet city

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