As one of the most commonly discussed (and maligned) organizations around, SpaceX is rarely out the news. Headed up by embattled billionaire Elon Musk, who has found 2018 to be a controversy-laden year, some good news finally can come from a Musk story: he’s got his first passenger signed up for a round-the-moon trip!
This is a huge leap forward for what many deem to be commercial space travel. While obviously some way off yet – don’t worry, Red Faction won’t be happening in the near future – it’s nice to see some form of legitimate progress on this front. The lucky person to be taking off as part of the SpaceX rocket, tipped for 2023, is to be Yusaku Maezawa.
Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire, and will become the first civilian passenger to have gone around the moon. The 18th richest man in Japan, he’s also known for his extravagant and varied collection of artworks. Indeed, he’s going to bring a team of six artists, designers and various other creatives with him on the week-long journey. He’ll become the first ‘tourist’ to leave the planet, and can add that to a list of growing accomplishments. Introduced by Elon Musk at the SpaceX California HQ, a visibly excited Maezawa said: “I choose to go to the moon,”
Speaking about his companions taking part in the trip with him, he said: “They will be asked to create something after they return to Earth,
“These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us.”
This will, of course, be the first humans to go to the moon since the Apollo mission in 1972. It’s a landmark moment, and it’s without doubt the first step to making travel to and from the Moon a reality for more than astronauts.
Richard Branson’ famous Virgin Galactic LLC program was another major step in trying to get space aviation to become a thing, with Branson himself wanting to be on a spaceship heading up to space before the end of the year.
This comes after the successful satellite launch from Florida earlier in September, making it the 16th mission in just nine months of 2018. The fact that 2018 has been a controversial year for Musk has done nothing to slow down the progress at SpaceX, with many believing that is’ only going to get bigger and better as time goes on.
The BFR has been a secret project even though we knew the BFR would have unique designs. The media and interested people have been debating the new features SpaceX added to the BFR and the identity of the first passenger. Now the first images have revealed some features of the amazing rocket. It is a spaceship designed to accommodate a crew. The spacecraft also appears to feature three fins, and belly mounted heat shield.
A trip to the moon is expected to cost as high as $35million. It is surely a trip for very wealthy people. However, we are excited that there will soon be such a thing as ‘space tourism.’
We first heard about the planned SpaceX launch and the BFR rocket in 2016. The project was unveiled by Musk as a spacecraft that will be the first to carry human cargo to space commercially. The BFR has undergone a series of changes since its unveiling. Its huge size has the capacity to carry as many as one hundred people to space. The BFR is designed to launch with a booster that will propel the craft into the orbit.
According to Musk, the BFR will be the replacement for the Falcon 9 and other Falcon rockets previously developed by SpaceX. The BFR will be developed to reach the moon, mars, and other locations in space. In the long-term, the BFR is expected to be the first rocket to make an unpiloted flight to Mars by 2022.
We expect a second passenger to be announced by Musk very soon. This is in line with the announcement made in 2017 that there will be two passengers aboard the BFR for its first launch. However, these plans were made while the Falcon Heavy rocket was being developed by SpaceX.
They’ve also agreed a contract to help take astronauts from Earth up to the International Space Station in the future. After so much fanfare and build-up, then, Yusaku Maezawa will be the lucky person taking part in what will be landmark moment for civilian travel.
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