Moonstruck Japan tycoon to blast off on 1st SpaceX trip

Yusaku Maezawa will fly round the moon

Maezawa has made a down payment on the trip, but declined to reveal how much he spent in total. That mission, which SpaceX announced in February 2017, was to carry two people - presumably Maezawa and one artist - and launch by the end of 2018. "More flight-ready hardware reveals, and some test demonstrations would go a long way to proving their capabilities". Forbes estimates Maezawa's net worth at $2.9 billion.

'By the way, if you should hear from me please say yes and accept my invitation, ' he said. The Falcon Heavy rocket launched four year later than planned, while the crew capsule will have been delayed by five years when it sends the first crew of astronauts to the International Space Station in 2019.

Even so, Musk did mention that Maezawa brought the idea to him and that his money for the ticket will help fund development of Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) that the company plans to use for the lunar flight, but also for a flight to Mars.

"Future announcements about the project, which Maezawa is calling "#dearMoon", will be posted on a website and social media accounts under the same name. His plan is to bring with him six to eight artists from various disciplines, including film, architecture, painting, sculpture and photography, with the goal that upon their return to Earth they create works inspired by the experience.

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".

If you didn't make the cut as one of the eight artists chosen to ride in SpaceX's 2023 mission around the moon, you might be in luck.

"This has done a lot to restore my faith in humanity - that somebody's willing to do this", Musk said. "Yeah, maybe we will both be on it".

Trump accuses China of trying to 'impact' U.S. election with trade war
It brings all Chinese imports subject to added tariffs to $250bn, roughly half of China's shipments to the U.S. a year ago . The tariffs announced by Beijing on Tuesday reflect the dwindling amount of goods on which it can impose new tariffs.

For the time being, Musk has chose to stick with the plan of launching the vehicle called Crew Dragon minus the passengers on board.

The tweet about the moon came as Musk faced new problems for another tweet.

SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-priced reusable Falcon 9 rockets. SpaceX aims to perform short "hopper tests" next year and high-altitude, high-velocity flights in 2020.

Maezawa said his interest in the moon started as a child.

So just who is this eccentric billionaire risking his life to be SpaceX's first space tourist?

SpaceX has said it views space tourism as "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space".

With SpaceX, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, Maezawa will join a growing list of celebrities and the ultra-rich who have secured seats on flights offered on the under-development vessels.

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