SpaceX will send Japanese billionaire and guests to the Moon

Cesar Mills
September 18, 2018

In a news conference scheduled to start at 9pm ET, SpaceX will introduce its first paying private customer who will ride a spacecraft around the Moon just for the fun of it.

He wants to do a circuit of the Moon, and take six to eight artists with him - be they painters, sculptors, musicians, or architects - and in return for the trip they must create art to inspire humanity. "It would skim the surface of the moon, go quite a bit further out into deep space, and then loop back to Earth". His project is called Dear Moon and he clearly wants some big names.

These artists will be asked to "see the moon up close and the Earth in full view, and create works that reflect their experience". "I don't think it's more than 10 [billion dollars], and I don't think it's less than two" billion dollars, he said. "What if Picasso had gone to the moon, or Andy Warhol, or Michael Jackson, or John Lennon, or Coco Chanel?"

The images of the BFR show a rocket with fins on the side. "I wish to create wonderful works of art for humankind, for children of the next generation", he said.

After that, the BFR will move on to larger scale tests - with Mr. Musk noting that the entire BFR system will be tested in an uncrewed configuration before Maezawa and his fellow passengers embark on their voyage around the moon.

'He stepped forward, ' Musk added.

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The private space firm announced on Twitter that it would reveal who is flying "and why" on Monday, 17 September, describing the venture as "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of travelling to space".

According to Musk's presentation [PDF] a year ago, the mighty BFR will stand 118 metres tall when erected on its launchpad, and will be able to lift 150 tons into low Earth orbit with the help of a massive central booster, making it the most powerful rocket ever to fly. The launch vehicle is likely still many years away from its inaugural flight.

He followed that up on Sunday with tweets showing new artist renderings of the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR, the super heavy-lift launch vehicle that Musk promises will shuttle the passenger to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars, using the hashtag #OccupyMars.

The first BFR is now being built in a purpose-built warehouse in Florida.

Musk said the billionaire will pay "a lot of money" for the lunar orbit but he declined to disclose the exact amount.

He also said humans have to not only visit but also inhabit those planets, starting off with Mars.

Other reports by GizPress

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