Japan fashion guru Maezawa lands first SpaceX moon flight

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Maezawa, who founded online retailers Start Today and Zozotown and is one of Japan's richest citizens, purchased all passenger seats on the flight.

Maezawa will fly on Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s BFR rocket on a trip around the moon, Musk announced today, without saying when. The 42-year-old said he will invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people on the weeklong journey in 2023.

"Why do I want to go to the moon?"

'I will make this a meaningful journey with SpaceX on the BFR launch vehicle'.

The world now knows the mysterious passenger signed up to travel on SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

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Yusaku Maezawa said his heart was already racing just thinking about the trip.

SpaceX has announced the identity of its first passenger to fly on its forthcoming BFR spacecraft, headed around the moon in 2023. "Only 24 humans have been to the moon in history", SpaceX noted on Twitter on Friday, adding that no one has visited the moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk outlined a somewhat different mission previous year. The outpost would serve as a stepping-off point for the lunar surface, Mars and points beyond.

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. When you're pushing the frontier, it's not a sure thing.

SpaceX has been hyping the planned Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) Lunar Mission as an epic trip. The moon trip would last four to five days, he said.

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The spacecraft will continue on toward the Moon, powered by its own engines.

Musk laid out his first design for the mammoth two-stage BFR in 2016 at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico, and refined it for the 2017 IAC meeting in Australia.

The BFR spacecraft's shape is reminiscent of the space shuttle, the bus-like United States spaceships that carried astronauts to space 135 times from 1981 to 2011.

Musk and the company's ultimate goal is to use BFR to colonize Mars. The company's Space Dragon crew capsule, which is meant to take astronauts to the International Space Station, missed an initial target date of 2017 and won't see a manned test until 2019.

Now the Elon Musk show returned to the sprawling SpaceX headquarters outside Los Angeles, where the company will - whether intentionally or not - provide a prime-time diversion to the troubles surrounding its celebrity chief executive by providing details about its long-anticipated moon shot.

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Unlike Musk's Tesla, SpaceX has avoided most of the CEO's self-inflicted controversies (including a defamation lawsuit, ill-advised tweets, and personal drama).