This billionaire will be the first tourist to fly around the moon


Meet Yusaku Maezawa: The Japanese billionaire who will become the first ever private tourist to fly around the moon.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed him to the world on Monday night after days of speculation about who the passenger might be.

“I’d like to introduce the first paying customer,” Musk said before bringing out Maezawa at a company event, which was livestreamed.

“Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the moon!” the Japanese entrepreneur proclaimed.

“I’m really excited, really honored,” he said. “Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon. It’s always there and continues to inspire humanity.”

Maezawa — described by SpaceX as a “fashion innovator” and “globally recognized art curator” — will be the first human to embark on a lunar mission since 1972, when the last Apollo mission went down. Only 24 humans have ever traveled to the rock, 12 of whom walked on its surface.

Maezawa said he’ll bring artists on his journey, though he didn’t immediately name them.

“I choose to go to the moon with artists,” Maezawa said. “In 2023, as the host, I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the moon.”

Musk has not revealed how much his “Lunar BFR Mission” will cost in the long run, but Maezawa surely won’t have a hard time footing the bill.

The 42-year-old is worth an estimated $2.9 billion and has been known to drop unfathomable amounts of money on art — including a Jean-Michel Basquiat purchase in 2016 for more than $57 million.

[Read More]