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SpaceX Has Booked Its First Private Passenger For A Moon Voyage, But He Won't Be Going Alone

Japanese billionaire businessman, online fashion tycoon and art collector Yusaku Maezawa was revealed as the first tourist who will fly on a SpaceX rocket around the Moon. (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)
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The world's first private passenger to fly around the moon will be Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese entrepreneur who made his money in fashion and is a well-known art collector.

Elon Musk made the announcement Monday night at his SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, accompanied by Maezawa.

"It's a very brave person to do this," he said. "And because he is paying a lot of money... the BFR system, is intended to be able to carry anyone to orbit and to the moon and to Mars, so he is ultimately helping for the average citizen to be able to travel to other planets. It's a great thing."

The trip is planned for 2023 on board the SpaceX BFR launch vehicle and its likely Maezawa won't be the only person aboard. A video released Monday night explains that the billionaire plans to "invite artists that represent Earth on his journey to the moon."

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Maezawa says he believes art has the power to promote world peace.

Neither Musk nor Maezawa would say how much the Japanese space tourist is paying for the experience, only that he has made a down payment and that it is a "non-trivial amount" that will help develop the BFR launch vehicle.

Musk says the trip to the moon is 240,000 miles and the crew will spend at least a week in space.

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