SpaceX plans to livestream moon mission in VR

Delia Walker
September 21, 2018

In a letter shared on the website for "Dear Moon", Maezawa wrote: "People are creative and have a great imagination". Yusaku, however, declined to reveal the figures that he paid for the flight, but the trip will be free-of-cost for the artists that go with him.

SpaceX made the announcement from its headquarters in Hawthorne, California - not far from where the Emmy awards were being handed out in Los Angeles on Monday evening.

Maezawa's other hobby is amassing valuable works of modern art and a year ago, he announced the acquisition of a Jean-Michel Basquiat masterpiece worth $110.5mn. A video presentation about him said he believes art can help usher in world peace.

"One day, when I was staring at his painting, I thought, what if Basquiat had gone to space, and had seen the moon up close, or saw Earth in full view". A Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, says he'll go.

"If you hear from me, please say yes", the Japanese tycoon pleaded.

It's not the same mission SpaceX founder Elon Musk outlined past year. "As far as me going, I'm not sure".

"All right. Maybe we will both be on it", Musk said to cheers and applause.

He recently criticized analysts during a Tesla earnings conference call, labeled a British diver in the recent Thai cave rescue drama as a pedophile, took a hit off an apparent marijuana-tobacco joint during a podcast interview, and tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla private but then announced the deal was off. The mission is set for 2023, if all goes well.

"It's not 100 per cent certain we can bring this to flight", Mr Musk said of the lunar mission.

Maezawa made his fortune by founding the wildly popular shopping site Zozotown.

"I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself", said Maezawa, wearing a blue sports jacket over a white T-shirt printed with a work by the late painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Musk said Maezawa had outlaid a significant deposit and would have a material impact on the cost of developing the BFR, which he estimated at about $5 billion. Yusaku hopes to hop on the rocket as early as 2023.

When asked about Boeing Co CEO Dennis Muilenburg's prediction that the first humans will be carried to Mars on a Boeing rocket, Musk responded, "Game on", to the sound of cheers from employees assembled at the event.

"Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon". The BFR, as it is known, is in development, possibly years from flying. He showed off images of the hardware under construction and a test fire of the vehicle's massive Raptor engine. Musk would not say what the trip would cost, but did say that the design of the almost 400-foot tall rocket had evolved recently, with the first flights to orbit coming in two to three years. The new design, he added, "might be better", but "it's slightly riskier technically".

With SpaceX, Musk has described his mission as nothing short of making humans a multi-planetary species.

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