SpaceX is moving forward with its plan to send private citizens to the moon. Founder, Elon Musk announced SpaceX’s first passenger in a live-streamed conference this week. He is entrepreneur billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, and his self-imposed, private lunar mission? Art. 

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Maezawa purchased a ticket for himself and six to eight additional spots for musicians, architects, photographers, painters and/or other artists to fly the week-long, 240,000-mile trip to the moon.  He did not disclose how much he paid for these tickets, but he did say that the artists filling those seats will be taking a free ride. He’s calling his project #dearmoon and it is meant to “inspire world peace through art”, according to

Whomever is chosen to join Maezawa must go through extensive training to make the journey. And, Musk wasn’t pulling any punches about the danger involved. He was sure to say that there is a chance “something could go wrong”. Um, yeah. It sure could. Considering the fact that we usually send highly qualified scientists, doctors, physicists and engineers into space that train for years and years… sometimes their entire careers, for a shot to leave our atmosphere? Sending a guy who’s good at taking pictures seems like a risk.  

If all goes well, the mission is planned for launch in 2023 aboard the new Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which is being built for the lunar mission. Its voyage will follow the path of the Apollo 8 mission around the moon.  

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Musk revealed the final design of the BFR on Twitter in conjunction with the passenger announcement. Before that launch, though, many test flights (starting in 2019) must go well, and on time. And, there’s far less than a guarantee that that will happen. We shall see.  

Meanwhile, if you’re a big fan of the moon and you like to draw… get Yusaku Maezawa’s number.



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