Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to be SpaceX Moon traveller

WION Web Team Hawthorne, CA, USA Sep 18, 2018, 07.16 AM(IST)

Yusaku Maezawa, the CEO of Zozo, operates Japan's popular fashion shopping site Zozotown. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Until now, Americans have been the only ones who have left Earth's orbit.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be SpaceX's Moon tourist, CEO Elon Musk announced today.

Watch: Elon Musk's SpaceX announces new plan to send tourist around Moon

"I choose to go to the Moon," the 42-year-old said at SpaceX headquarters in California.

Maezawa will be inviting 6-8 artists to his Moon trip.

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"Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the Moon," Maezawa said, adding,"this is my lifelong dream."

Maezawa is chief executive of Japan's largest online fashion mall.

"I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the Moon," Maezawa said.

"They will be asked to create something after they return to Earth. These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us," he added.

Maezawa is the 18th richest person in Japan with a fortune of $3 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Until now, Americans have been the only ones who have left Earth's orbit. A total of 24 NASA astronauts went to the Moon during the Apollo era of the 1960s and '70s. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

The price of the SpaceX Moon ticket and the date of travel are unknown.

SpaceX had described the journey as "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space."

Maezawa's ride will take place aboard a Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which has only been shown in designs and images.