SpaceX announced on Monday night that its first moonshot passenger will be Yusaku Maezawa, a billionaire estimated by Forbes to be the 18th richest person in Japan.
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He’ll be the first private passenger to visit the moon in the company’s much hyped Big Falcon Rocket — if the launch happens.
“I choose to go to the moon!” said the 42-year-old Maezawa, who founded Japan’s largest online fashion mall and is worth almost $3 billion.
SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle—an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space. Find out who’s flying and why on Monday, September 17. pic.twitter.com/64z4rygYhk
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 14, 2018
The announcement was made at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The launch is scheduled to happen in 2023.
It’s not the first time the company has made this kind of announcement. In February 2017, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced the first two paying customers had put down a deposit to fly around the moon without landing in the smaller Falcon Heavy rocket sometime this year. In June, the company announced that wouldn’t happen.
Earlier this year, on Feb. 6, the Falcon Heavy rocket successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, launching a red Tesla Roadster driven by a Starman mannequin.
Earlier in the day, Musk was sued for defamation by the British driver he had accused of being a “child rapist” and pedophile via tweets and emails to media.
SpaceX has succeeded in its goal of building reusable rockets.