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Japanese billionaire to be first “private passenger” on SpaceX moon mission

Japanese billionaire to be first “private passenger” on SpaceX moon mission

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be first passenger on SpaceX moon mission

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will become the first person to travel to the moon since 1972.

The 42-year-old entrepreneur says it’s been his lifelong dream to go into space. He says just thinking about the journey gets his heart racing.

“I can tell you that I choose to go to the moon!” Maezawa said emphatically. “Yeah, finally I can say I’m very glad to be here, really exciting and really honored. [I] really appreciate to be able to share […] this announcement with you.”

“Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon. It’s always there and continues to inspire humanity,” said Maezawa, one of the richest people in Japan, who made his fortune as the founder of online retailers Start Today and Zozotown.

“I hope that this project will inspire the dreamer within each of us,” Maezawa wrote on the website for the project, #DearMoon.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says Maezawa will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which is still in development.

“He’s a very brave person to do this, and because he is paying a lot of money — we’re not disclosing the amounts — but he is paying a lot of money that will help with the development of this ship and booster,” said Musk. “And ultimately, you know, this system, BFR system, is intended is intended to be able to carry anyone to orbit and to the moon and to Mars.”

The reusable 118-meter (387-foot) rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship.

The average distance from Earth to the moon is about 237,685 miles (382,500 kilometers). No one has been there since an Apollo mission in 1972.

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