Elon Musk reveals the first passenger SpaceX will send around the moon

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It's been a long time since anyone has visited the moon - in fact, the last visit was 1972, more than 45 years ago. He said about BFR, it's "making people excited about the future - about getting up in the morning".

I'm not sure that I'd want Elon on a spaceship with me, although maybe they'll make him leave the Ambien behind, and that's good for everyone involved. Intriguingly, he wants to take six-to-eight artists from different countries with him, with the plan to exhibit the works inspired by the journey at a later date.

Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, 42, announced: "I choose to go to the Moon".

Musk, who is well-known for issuing overly ambitious schedules, said during a Q&A in March that he hoped to begin testing the spaceship portion of the BFR sometime in 2019.

The event was held at the company's Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters, conveniently located next to a design shop for Tesla, Musk's other company. "Please say yes and accept my invitation!" "This is unsafe, to be clear", Musk said. Theoretically, it's capable of carrying a 150 ton payload Mars and returning with 50 tons on board, but its first flight will be significantly less burdened.

Musk estimated it would cost $5 billion to build.

He added that SpaceX plans to shift a majority of the company's engineering efforts towards BFR by the end of next year, and welcomes the growing competition in the private space race.

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. Musk praised Maezawa's bravery for seeking to be the first passenger on the trip.

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During its event tonight, the company put a name to the first private passenger who will fly around the moon.

Musk said. "We should have one and go there".

During the BFR flight, Maezawa - and certainly some of his other passengers - will become the first non-Americans to travel to the moon. The company has grown from its origins as a mail-order music album business, and now makes most of its money through its shopping website Zozotown, which is popular with younger domestic consumers. Last year, he spent $110 million on a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Musk described a slightly scaled-down 348-foot-tall rocket in September 2017 and announced that the private space company aimed to launch two cargo missions to Mars in 2022.

SpaceX livestreamed the big news after teasing the announcement last week and calling it "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space".

Elon Musk/SpaceX via TwitterA Sept. 2018 rendering of SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket launching through the cloud tops and toward space.

SpaceX has already contributed to space ventures by privately developing a liquid-fuel launch vehicle that orbited the Earth in 2008. Initially, SpaceX had planned to use Falcon Heavy rockets to launch the crew, but the company has made a decision to use its newly designed Big Falcon Rocket which is now under construction.

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