SpaceX is a private space company and it plans on flying tourists, the ones with very deep pockets, to space. The company had been teasing the announcement of its first space tourist and CEO Elon Musk has finally revealed who will be hitching the first paid ride on SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket. It’s Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese billionaire founder of online fashion retailer Zozo. He will be accompanied by eight artists and cultural figures on the journey around the moon.
Maezawa was formally revealed as SpaceX’s first space tourist at an event in Los Angeles. Musk didn’t reveal how much the billionaire has paid for this journey, only saying that he paid a “significant” deposit for the trip. Reports estimate that the entire trip might cost Maezawa between tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.
“He’s paying a lot of money that would help with the ship and its booster,” Musk said during the event, adding that “He’s ultimately paying for the average citizen to travel to other planets.” Maezawa said that the decision is based on his “life long dream,” and proclaimed enthusiastically that “I choose to go to the moon!”
Maezawa will have to wait for some time before he can make his trip to space as SpaceX continues to work on the rocket side of the Big Falcon Rocket. His launch date is expected to be at some point in 2023.