On Monday, SpaceX revealed the mystery passenger who would be taking the first private flight to the moon. Indeed, one of his statements to this effect - "I'd like to die on Mars, just not on impact" - has found its way onto T-shirts and posters.
A mockup of the Crew Dragon spacecraft is displayed during a media tour of SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California. The 42 year billionaire will be the first traveler to the moon since the United States last manned mission back in 1972. 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 is the CEO of Start Today Co., which was founded in 1998 as a CD sales business.
Musk tweeted that "Yusaku will be bringing eight (brave) artists and cultural figures with him on the journey around the moon".
The unprecedented mission is planned to launch on SpaceX's yet to be built BFR (or "Big Falcon Rocket") in 2023.
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"It's always been there, it's always been inside of me", Maezawa said, before transitioning to Japanese to say the moon has always "felt like it's protecting me". He expects that these masterpieces will inspire the dreamers in us.
Importantly, SpaceX didn't actually reveal who the passenger was. Details are scant - SpaceX will unveil more on Monday (Sept. 17) during a live webcast - but the private spaceflight company did unveil a new artist's concept of a BFR passenger rocket around the moon.
Musk said: "The objective for SpaceX, the reason for creating SpaceX, was to accelerate the advent of humanity becoming a space-faring civilisation; to help advance rocket technology to a point where we could potentially become a multi-planet species and a true space-faring civilisation". "But we're going to do everything humanly possible to bring it to flight as fast as we can and as safely as we can".
NASA's Apollo 8 mission took off on December 21, 1968, sending astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders on a flight to orbit the moon.
No matter who SpaceX has signed for its "BFR Lunar Mission", the company is hyping it as an epic trip.
He added: "It's not 100% certain that we succeed in getting this to flight ..." SpaceX plans to launch the first unmanned mission to Mars by 2022 - a goal Musk himself has described as "Ambitious", with a sight to putting the first humans on the red planet by 2024.