Cosmos & Outer Space

SpaceX Decided To Send Japanese Billionaire – Yusaku Maezawa To Moon As Their First Private Passenger

Finally, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has revealed the name of their first private passenger who will fly around the moon on their developing rocket BFR. SpaceX on Monday decided to send Japanese billionaire YUSAKU MAEZAWA to moon to have a first ever commercial passenger flight.

In a meeting yesterday Elon Musk declared 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. A website for the mission went live after the announcement.

On the SpaceX event Yusaku said – “Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the Moon! I choose to go to the moon with artists!”


Yusaku Maezawa born on 22 November 1975, is a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur and art collector. He founded Start Today in 1998 and launched the online fashion retail website Zozotown, now Japan’s largest, in 2004. Most recently, Maezawa introduced a custom-fit apparel brand ZOZO and at-home measurement system, the ZOZOSUIT, in 2018. As of May 2017 he is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $3.6 billion and is the 14th richest person in Japan.

In 1998, Maezawa used the basis of the mail-order album business to launch the company Start Today.The same year, his band signed with the label BMG Japan. By 2000, Start Today had moved to an online platform, had begun selling clothing, and had become a public company. In 2001, Maezawa declared a hiatus on his music career. Start Today opened the retail clothing website Zozotown in 2004, and six years later, Start Today became a publicly traded company, listed on the “Mothers” Index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. By 2012, Start Today was listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Maezawa recently introduced ZOZO, a custom-fit clothing brand and the ZOZOSUIT, an at-home measurement system, in over 72 countries and territories.

Maezawa is the founder of the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation, which he started in 2012 with a goal of “supporting young artists as a pillar of the next generation of contemporary art.” The Contemporary Art Foundation currently hosts collection shows twice a year. In May 2016 Maezawa attracted significant media attention with a record purchase price at auction of $57.3 million for an untitled work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, and broke a record again in May 2017 with a $110.5 million auction for a piece by the same artist. At the same 2016 auction, Maezawa bought pieces by Bruce Nauman, Alexander Calder, Richard Prince, and Jeff Koons, spending a total of $98 million over two days. Maezawa plans to open a contemporary art museum in Chiba, which will house his collection.


“I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the Moon,” he said. “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.

Maezawa was inspired by imagining what his favorite artists would have created if they had traveled to space. “What if Picasso had gone to the Moon? Or Andy Warhol or Michael Jackson or John Lennon?” he asked at the event. “What about Coco Chanel? These are all artists that I adore.”

Elon Musk said that Maezawa actually came to SpaceX with the idea to do this flight. The billionaire declined to say how much he paid for the flight, but the trip will be free for the artists who go with him. Musk also noted that the down payment Maezawa made was significant enough that it will “have a material effect on paying for cost and development of BFR.”

“It makes a difference,” Musk said. “He puts his money where his mouth is. He’s legit.” Musk also estimated that the development cost for BFR will be roughly $5 billion.


The Big Falcon Rocket (officially shortened to BFR) is a privately funded next-generation fully reusable launch vehicle and spacecraft system in development by SpaceX. The overall space vehicle architecture includes both launch vehicles and spacecraft, as well as ground infrastructure for rapid launch and relaunch, and zero-gravity propellant transfer technology to be deployed in low Earth orbit (LEO). The payload capacity to Earth orbit of at least 100,000 kg (220,000 lb) makes BFR a super heavy-lift launch vehicle.

The BFR launch vehicle is designed to replace the existing SpaceX vehicles and spacecraft: Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, and the Dragon capsule. SpaceX estimates that BFR launches will be cheaper than the existing fleet, and even cheaper than the retired Falcon 1, due to full reusability and precision landing of the booster on its launch mount for simplified launch logistics. SpaceX intends to fully replace its vehicle fleet with BFRs during the early 2020s.

BFR is planned to execute five diverse flight use cases.

  • legacy Earth-orbit satellite delivery market
  • long-duration spaceflights in the cislunar region
  • Mars transportation, both as cargo ships as well as passenger-carrying transport
  • long-duration flights to the outer planets, for cargo and astronauts
  • commercial passenger travel on Earth, competing with long-range aircraft

Musk and Shotwell have touted the ability of BFR to carry passengers on suborbital flights between any two points on Earth in under one hour.

However, SpaceX has yet to launch anyone to space. The company is working on it, though. Through NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, SpaceX has been updating its Dragon cargo capsule to carry crew to and from the International Space Station. The plan, as of now, is to launch the vehicle, called Crew Dragon, for the first time on a test flight in December without passengers on board, according to Musk. That’s a month later than the most recent dates announced by NASA. The company then hopes to fly the capsule with a two-person crew in the second quarter of 2019. Musk maintained that Commercial Crew is still the priority for SpaceX at the moment.

SOURCE – theverge


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