SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed that Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire and founder of Zozotown, Japan’s largest online clothing retailer, will be the first private customer to ride around the Moon on the company’s future massive rocket, the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). Maezawa plans to fly on the trip as early as 2023, and he wants to take artists with him to turn the entire ride into an art project called #dearMoon.
Maezawa says he has “bought all the seats” on the BFR and will be looking for others to join him on a week-long mission around the Moon.
“These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth, and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us,” Maezawa says he hasn’t decided which artists he’d like to invite yet, but he would like them to represent many different fields, such as painters, musicians, film directors, and more.
Only 24 humans have visited the Moon – all of them Americans; 12 of them landed on the moon. Nasa’s Apollo 17 in December 1972 marked the last time humans landed on the moon or went beyond low Earth orbit. Mr. Maezawa will not land on the moon. He will travel on what is called a “free return trajectory”, which will bring his BFR ship back to Earth after it has gone around the far side of the satellite. The BFR has never flown, but Mr. Musk has released some technical details about it. The rocket is expected to stand 118m high and have a diameter of 9m.
By comparison, the Falcon Heavy is 70m tall and consists of a central rocket core surrounded by two boosters, each with a diameter of 3.66m.