SpaceX says it will fly private passenger 'around the Moon'

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

Maezawa said he plans to invite six to eight artists to go on the trip with him.

As Reuters reports, the actual cost of the trip hasn't been revealed, but Maezawa noted that the journey will set him back significantly more than his art purchases. He said he wanted the artists "to see the moon up close, and the earth in full view, and create work to reflect their experience".

Maezawa, 42, whose net worth is US$2.3 billion, is the founder and CEO of Japan's largest e-commerce company Start Today Co.

Yusaku Maezawa (below) is the founder of an online fashion empire called Zozotown.

The trip scheduled for 2023 will mark the first time a person has been sent to the moon since the U.S. Apollo program ended in 1972.

SpaceX is expected to name the first private passenger to fly around the moon at an event Monday evening. SpaceX is still working hard at getting its Big Falcon Rocket ready for its first test launches, and the company will need to put its launch systems through their paces well in advance of taking passengers anywhere. Musk said Maezawa is the bravest and the best adventurer and he's glad that he chose SpaceX for the mission.

Forbes ranks Maezawa as the 18th richest person in Japan. The BFR is actually two vehicles in one, a massive booster rocket and a Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS).

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Maezawa who is also well known for collecting art (he bought a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting for $110 million in 2017), has called the trip which will take place in 2023, #DearMoon.

It will seat about a dozen, so that's how Maezawa can bring his artist friends.

An off-the-cuff tweet also left investors reeling after Musk said he planned to take Tesla, his electric auto company, private.

The BFR will stand about 387 feet (118 meters) tall, and both its rocket and spaceship components will be reusable.

M - A Japanese internet entrepreneur is to be the first "space tourist" to fly round the moon, Sky News reports.

During Monday night's announcement, Musk said the whole goal of SpaceX is to "help advance rocket technology to the point where we could potentially become a multi-planet species", and to "extend life beyond Earth and do so as quickly as we can".

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