I choose to go to the Moon with artists!

I choose to go to the Moon with artists!

I choose to go to the Moon with artists!

The billionaire founder of online Japanese clothing retailer Zozotown will become the first person to tour the moon aboard SpaceX's yet-to-be-developed Big Falcon Rocket, the aerospace company's CEO, Elon Musk, announced.

The BFR (which stands for "Big Falcon Rocket", or "Big F-- Rocket") is created to help humanity settle Mars and other worlds throughout the solar system, Musk has said.

On its website, SpaceX is touting the "first passenger on lunar BFR mission", implying there will be more moon trips.

Musk said SpaceX would conduct several uncrewed test launches of the BFR.

Maezawa has also invited Musk to come along, and the SpaceX chief didn't exactly shoot down the possibility: "Maybe we'll both be on it", Musk said.

Only 24 astronauts have flown beyond Earth's protective magnetic shield, in missions spanning a four-year period from December 1968 to December 1972. In May 2017, Maezawa posted on Instagram a series of photos of himself alongside the work, writing, "When I first encountered this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art". He said, "As far as me going, I'm not sure. Please don't say no".

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According to the New York Times, Maezawa "may be best known" for his $110 million (£83 million) purchase of a 1982 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting of a skull, a sum that his sister Lisane Basquiat referred to as leaving the family "speechless". In a recent episode of This American Life, he said he was entirely unmoved by the concept of space travel, the idea of traveling to the moon, and what those of us on Earth might think of as the beauty of space. "I choose to go to the moon with artists!". "I don't know if they have the skills to translate that experience in a way that is digestible for the majority of people".

SpaceX put out the teaser via Twitter late Thursday, and Musk also tweeted out the news.

Musk estimated it would cost $5bn to build.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk outlined a somewhat different mission a year ago. It consists of a massive rocket booster that promises to out-power any that has ever been built and a towering spacecraft, nicknamed BFS for Big Falcon Spaceship, that will vault out of the Earth's atmosphere.

That original mission would have used a Falcon Heavy rocket - the most powerful rocket flying today - and a Dragon crew capsule similar to the one NASA astronauts will use to fly to the International Space Station as early as next year. SpaceX's passenger will be the first person to take a space flight toward the moon who did not train through a formal program like NASA.

He made headlines in 2016 when he paid more than $57 million at auction for an untitled work by Basquiat. The company will use the extra space to store lots of food, water, fuel and spare parts, in case something goes wrong during the flight. Blue Origin's price has not been revealed.

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