SpaceX has announced that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first commercial BFR passenger. The mission is currently scheduled for 2023 with Maezawa set to select 6 to 8 artists from around the world to join him on this historic voyage.
In an announcement held at the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, Elon Musk revealed a number of details about the upcoming mission. In addition to a detailed flight plan and mission breakdown, he revealed a redesigned BFR that features a larger payload section and two large rear actuating fins. The fins will double as both control surfaces during flight and landing legs.
Yusaku Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur. Forbes has estimated that Maezawa is worth approximately $2.7 billion as of 2018 and is considered to be the eighteenth richest person in Japan. In conjunction with the announcement that he would be the first commercial BFR passenger, Maezawa launched his #deatMoon project stating, “I choose to go to the moon, with artists”, an obvious homage to Kennedy’s, “We choose to go to the moon” speech.
On the official #deatMoon website, it describes the project as “An awe-inspiring, global, universal art project…” It goes on to explain that, “Some of Earth’s greatest talents will board a spacecraft and be inspired in a way they have never been before.” This brain trust of global artists could include painters, musicians, film directors, fashion designers, novelists, photographers and more.
The #dearMoon crew will spend a week in space traversing the 385,000 kilometres (240,000 miles) to the moon, experience a lunar flyby, and then watch the Earth grow in the giant BFR observation windows before landing back on terra firma.