SpaceX will take a Japanese billionaire on a trip around the Moon

What you need to know about the first tourist that SpaceX is taking around the moon

Japanese billionaire to be sent to moon by SpaceX says he'll bring along architects and other artists

Maezawa, 42, will take his trip round the moon in SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) spaceship and will be the first man to travel to earth's only natural satellite since the USA ended its Apollo missions in 1972.

Maezawa, an art lover and collector, said he will take six to eight artists with him.

At Tuesday's announcement, the 42-year-old specified he would like to invite artists from around the world to join his mission to the Moon, adding that "they will be asked to create something after they return to Earth".

"Luckily, we still have some time before 2023, so I hope to work very closely with the SpaceX team and to reach out to each artist personally", Maezawa said. He is also known for having dropped $110 million on a painting by the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat a year ago at a Sotheby's auction. Maezawa says he has often wondered what Basquiat might have drawn if he had traveled into space.

"A lot of people can make art standing in a studio, which I have downstairs", he said in his home near Cambie Street.

Musk called Maezawa a "very courageous person" to take the flight to the moon. Musk did not name the clients previous year or say how much they would pay. Elon Musk said that the amount is "significant" and could influence the development of missiles Big Falcon Rocket.

The reusable 387-foot rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship, and its development is expected to cost about $5 billion, Musk said.

That mission, the Apollo 17, included a crew made up of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt.

What you need to know about the first tourist that SpaceX is taking around the moon

According to The New York Times, seven people have paid to go to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz rocket. If all had gone according to schedule, SpaceX would now be gearing up for its first lunar flight, fulfilling its pledge early past year to launch a pair of tourists "faster and farther into the solar system than any before them".

Could there be more than one billionaire aboard SpaceX's upcoming lunar fly-around mission?

The big reveal on who it is - and when the flight to the moon will be - will be announced Monday at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said last week that there was "no chance" that Musk's conduct will impact SpaceX's ability to win contracts, and that there's been "no impact at all" on the level of confidence in him on the part of the closely held company's backers.

SpaceX already has a long list of firsts, with its sights ultimately set on Mars. He is the first to book a trip as a private passenger with the commercial space company for a voyage that hasn't been attempted since NASA's Apollo missions ended in 1972.

Musk's successes have recently been overshadowed by his behavior and the struggles of his Tesla electric vehicle company to deliver.

He's planning to take six to eight artists with him, and he won't be charging them for the ride.

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