The first private passenger to the moon will be a Japanese entrepreneur, SpaceX announced on Sept. 17.
Yusaku Maezawa, the 42-year-old who launched the online clothing shopping site Zozotown, was in SpaceX’s headquarters in California for the announcement. He said he will invite six to eight world-renowned artists to join him on a weeklong flight orbiting the moon.
The trip is scheduled for 2023. It will be the first time a human has gone to the moon since the U.S. Apollo program ended in 1972.
Maezawa will travel on the Big Falcon Rocket spaceship. It is being developed by SpaceX, the space transport company of Elon Musk.
The BFR will eventually shuttle passengers to the moon and fly humans and cargo to Mars.
The plan is to ready the BFR for an unpiloted trip to Mars in 2022, and a crewed flight in 2024. SpaceX wants to use it to travel between cities at super-speed. (Kyodo)