Elon Musk introduces Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as first BFR customer

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us'.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk described Maezawa as the "bravest" and 'best adventurer'.

"I choose to go to the moon!" said the 42-year-old Maezawa, who founded Japan's largest online fashion mall and is worth nearly $3 billion.

Musk, who is well-known for issuing overly ambitious schedules, said during a Q&A in March that he hoped to begin testing the spaceship portion of the BFR sometime in 2019.

SpaceX said previous year that it planned to send two private citizens around the moon in a Dragon crew capsule to be launched by a Falcon Heavy rocket.

In 2016, Musk predicted that one of his Dragon crew capsules would land on Mars this year - although that particular project was abandoned. 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.

Announced to applause it was revealed that Yusaku Maezawa, from Japan, would be the first private passenger to embark on a SpaceX journey.

"The artists that fly on the "#dearMoon" mission will be asked to create works of art after the mission inspired by the flight.

Trump to visit NC as governor asks pleads for patience
Mary and Phil Pongonis look at the damaged roadway from Hurricane Florence in Boiling Spring Lakes, N.C., September 18, 2018. Sixteen North Carolina rivers were at major flood stage Tuesday, with an additional three forecasted to peak by Thursday.

On his Instagram account, Maezawa posted a photo of himself looking at the prototype of what is likely the rocket that will be used to launch him toward the moon.

The trip will take place aboard the future rocket BFR (Big Falcon Rocket).

If you were dreaming of being the first private citizen in space. you've been beaten to it. Only 24 humans have ever traveled to the rock, 12 of whom walked on its surface. It has contracts with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration to carry cargo and crew to the International Space Station.

The BFR will eventually replace Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, but not until all of SpaceX's customers are on board, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in April.

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.

"He pays a lot of money", said Elon Musk, stressing that his contribution represented a significant portion of the development, which it has estimated the total cost at around five billion dollars ("less than ten billion, and more than two billion").

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

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