SpaceX moon passenger to invite artists on journey

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Since space travel became a thing, millions of people have dreamed about that countdown from 10 to lift off.

Forbes ranks Maezawa as the 18th richest person in Japan. A year ago he spent $US110 million on a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat. He bought an entire spaceship, and he intends to people it with 6-8 artists from different countries and representing different styles of art.

The 42 year old announced the news on Twitter saying "I choose to go to the moon".

Until now, Americans are the only ones who have left Earth's orbit. He said the top priority is getting ready to be able to send astronauts to the space station.

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 stepped forward to do it. "We are honored that he chose us".

"I can tell you that I choose to go to the moon", Maezawa said, apologizing for his English.

"This is risky, to be clear".

An off-the-cuff tweet also left investors reeling after Musk said he planned to take Tesla, his electric vehicle company, private. "There are chances something go wrong" and "you have to be a fearless person to do that".

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When the reporters asked Musk if he considered being a co-passenger, he did not rule out the possibility. Musk looked at him and responded - with a bit of a smile, but not a laugh this time - "All right". He did suggest like maybe that I would join on this trip.

The price Mr Maezawa agreed to pay for his ticket to space has not been disclosed but according to Mr Musk it's "a lot of money".

Essentially, #dearmoon is a civilian art project that Maezawa hopes will inspire those who remain on Earth.

The announcement at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., followed days of speculation over the identity of the first passenger - and months of chatter about the capabilities of the BFR, an acronym for "Big Falcon Rocket" in its G-rated interpretation. Musk has earlier said that he wants the BFR to be capable of holding 100 people and could one day be used to colonise Moon and Mars.

Elon Musk and his rocket company, SpaceX, plan to launch a private passenger named Yusaku Maezawa around the moon.

Maezawa's undisclosed payment will reportedly play a huge part in financing the development of BFR, which is estimated to cost around $5 billion.

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.