Japanese billionaire to be first tourist to Moon: SpaceX

Elon Musk had said two humans take that trip at some point in 2018

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.

'This is my lifelong dream'.

Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire musician, fashion designer, art collector and entrepreneur, expects to take a group of artists with him into orbit within five years.

"I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself, " said Maezawa, wearing a blue sports jacket over a white T-shirt printed with a work by the late painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. The trip will be free for the artists he invites along, Maezawa added. "They will have to create something on their return to Earth".

Yusaku Maezawa is the first passenger to book a trip to the moon on a SpaceX rocket.

The ISS orbits 254 miles (408 km) above Earth.

So far, Musk said the BFR project is a relatively small project within SpaceX, which has become a major space launch firm for satellites and to resupply the International Space Station. SpaceX expects Maezawa, 42, to be the first private passenger to make the journey that only two dozen astronauts have been on during the Apollo era that ended 46 years ago. Going forward, Musk and Maezawa will figure out details like training, but "nothing's written in stone". "We are honored that he chose us".

"To be clear: This is unsafe", the billionaire explained. This is no walk in the park, ' Musk cautioned.

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While Musk has insisted that the spacecraft is safe, he warned Monday that there "are some chances things could go wrong".

The Big Falcon Rocket is the most powerful rocket in human history and it'll one day carry humans into space.

"Maybe we'll both be on it, " Musk said with a smile.

This isn't the first time Musk has vowed to send tourists around the Moon. Musk has said he hopes to construct the first prototype by mid-2019 and then launch several tests from the company's rocket facility in South Texas. Musk has previously expressed a desire to fly in space, though not on the earliest, riskiest missions. The company now has the Falcon and Falcon Heavy rockets. A grand total of 31 Raptor engines will power the BFR.

The BFR spacecraft's shape is reminiscent of the space shuttle, the bus-like U.S. spaceships that carried astronauts to space 135 times from 1981 to 2011.

The BFR is SpaceX's next generation spacecraft and launch vehicle system, set to be used along with the company's current suite of hardware like the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

The company has revealed little else about the trip, and it's anyone's guess when it might actually happen.

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