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SpaceX Plans Civilian Flight Around Moon for Billionaire

SpaceX Plans Civilian Flight Around Moon for Billionaire

The amount Mr Maezawa is paying for the trip was not disclosed, but he told Reuters the total sum was "much higher" than the cost of a Basquiat painting.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk outlined a somewhat different mission previous year.

At the time, Musk said the pair approached SpaceX about sending them on a weeklong flight and paid a "significant" deposit for the trip.

Maezawa did not immediately say who would be on his guest list for the spaceflight, but in response to a question from a reporter he said he would consider inviting Musk. "Please don't say no".

"Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon", said Maezawa according to CNBC. The company's Space Dragon crew capsule, which is meant to take astronauts to the International Space Station, missed an initial target date of 2017 and won't see a manned test until 2019.

"Future announcements about the project, which Maezawa is calling "#dearMoon", will be posted on a website and social media accounts under the same name.

The billionaire stood before the audience at SpaceX headquarters on Monday evening and was greeted with cheers as he proclaimed John F. Kennedy's famous line "I choose to go to the moon". He plans to tie the journey to his hobby of art collection, and states that he plans to bring six to eight artists of varying disciplines along with him as part of a project called #dearMoon, a collaborative art project meant to inspire humanity for generations to come. "I don't know", Musk said. Back in May, he spent $110.5 million for Jean-Michel Basquiat's 1982 painting "Untitled". Musk has previously expressed a desire to fly in space, though not on the earliest, riskiest missions.

Women die in flooded van driven by South Carolina deputies
The vehicle, staffed by two Horry County Sheriff's Office deputies, was transporting two detainees from Conway to Darlington. That effort resumed Wednesday morning, but Thompson said a specialized crew was being flown in from Charleston to assist.

The flight will be made aboard the Big Falcon Spaceship (BFS).

Musk cautioned at the news conference that SpaceX is not certain about the 2023 timing for the moon tourism mission. The BFR, as it is known, is in development, possibly years from flying. The tycoon said traveling to the Moon was his "lifelong dream".

After an uncrewed demonstration flight this fall and an in-flight abort test, U.S. Air Force Colonel Bob Behnken and former Marine Corps test pilot Doug Hurley will be the first two astronauts to fly in SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said last week that there was "no chance" that Musk's conduct will impact SpaceX's ability to win contracts, and that there's been "no impact at all" on the level of confidence in him on the part of the closely held company's backers. SpaceX's passenger will be the first person to take a space flight toward the moon who did not train through a formal program like NASA.

And the new BFR spaceship will feature three rear "actuated fins" that also serve as landing pads, as well as two fins near its nose.

With SpaceX, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, Maezawa will join a growing list of celebrities and the ultra-rich who have secured seats on flights offered on the under-development vessels.


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