Japanese Billionaire Snags First Seat On SpaceX Moon Voyage

Published on September 19, 2018

Monday marked a big moment in history for space travel when SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space travel company, announced that it would be sending the first ever private passenger on a trip around the moon in 2023. The company announced yesterday evening that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa would be the first to purchase seats on the spacecraft. The BFG, or Big Falcon Rocket, has yet to be built and is estimated to cost nearly $5 billion USD. SpaceX is Musk’s private aerospace manufacturing company that was founded in 2002. The company has since launched a number of rockets including the Falcon Heavy rocket launch in February of this year. The launch famously took a Tesla car with it into space, making headlines around the world.

SpaceX Voyage Is Maezawa’s Biggest Art-Related Purchase

Yusaku Maezawa made his fortune in the e-commerce business. The eccentric Japanese billionaire began his career in music before transitioning to e-commerce. Maezawa opened up an online record store called Start Today, which later became Zozotown. Zozotown, or ZoZo, is a Japanese online clothing retailer that aims to change the fashion industry through technology. The Zozo suit, launched by the company, uses AR technology to measure users’ bodies and offer made-to-order clothing at an affordable price. The billionaire CEO is an avid art collector and is frequently seen in Japanese gossip magazines. He made headlines last year when he purchased a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting at auction for over $110 million USD.

Maezawa purchased every single flight on the BFR ship. Though he would not disclose the price he paid for the 2023 trip around the moon. He plans to offer the remaining seats to six to eight of his favorite artists for free (please tell me at least one of these artists is going to be Azealia Banks). No names have yet been announced on who will accompany him on the trip around the moon. Maezawa said that in his space travel he would like to be in the presence of great artistic minds on his trip into space. The Japanese tech billionaire said this in the press meeting that took place yesterday at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Colonizing Mars

Elon Musk announced yesterday that the BFR, Big Falcon Rocket, would eventually take passengers to Mars. The tech guru discussed in the press event that colonizing mars would be a vital element to preserving humanity in the event of a catastrophe on Earth. “Either man made or natural,” he said of possible outcomes for how Earth would become inhospitable in the future. The BFR is the first step in a plan to eventually make space travel regularly accessible to the public. You can check out the press event for yourself on the SpaceX YouTube channel here, which starts about a half hour into the video.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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