The affluent are over the moon for new SpaceX developments, but they are the only ones.
Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, just revealed the identity of its first passenger who will be rocketed around the moon and back.
Meet Yusaku Maezawa, Japanese billionaire entrepreneur and skateboarder. Maezawa, who made his billions founding Zozotown (Japan’s largest online clothing retailer) prefers to be called “MZ,” but his plebeian followers favor his Twitter handle: @yousuck2020.
Maezawa’s big bucks have secured for him a voyage in the Big F***** Rocket. That’s right, SpaceX’s very own Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) which eclipses SpaceX’s other innovations—Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, and Dragon—will transport the billionaire to outer space.
Musk made the announcement at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, live streaming the reveal through SpaceX’s YouTube channel. There he introduced a grinning Maezawa who declared, “I choose to go to the moon!”
Maezawa’s revelation is not quite accurate as he will actually be traveling around the moon and back—no pit stops for moonwalking.
That is if the trip ever happens. Houston, we have a problem: the BFR doesn’t exist yet.
Musk projects the launch will take place in 2023, but he stated, “It’s not 100% certain we can bring this to flight.” In all his excitement, hopefully “MZ” Warbucks realizes the gravity of the situation: he may not be lifting off for a while.
While forking over millions of dollars for a space voyage puts the “luna” in lunacy, for Maezawa, the trip is about more than just a personal joy ride. Rather than purchasing a single seat on the spacecraft, Maezawa will be buying out the entire flight as part of a project he is calling #dearMoon.
“I choose to go to the moon with artists,” said Maezawa, who hopes to inspire painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, and others to create stellar, nay, interstellar masterpieces.
“What if Basquiat had gone to space and had seen the moon up close?” asked Maezawa. “What if Picasso had gone to the moon or Andy Warhol? Or Michael Jackson or John Lennon or Coco Chanel?”
Maezawa said he will ask six to eight artists to accompany him, but he has not yet selected the lucky creators. Of all the people on the planet he could choose, it’s a good thing Maezawa decided to foot the bill for a collection of hit singer-songwriters, artists, and fashion designers. I don’t know much about science, but relatively speaking, we indigent non-rockstars will function as “non-accelerating observers”* in this equation.
For his part, Musk has different ideas about space travel.
“The reason for creating SpaceX was . . . to help advance rocket technology to the point where we could potentially become a multi-planet species and a true space-bearing civilization . . . There could be some natural event or some man-made event that ends civilization as we know it or life as we know it. So it’s important that we try to become a multi-planet civilization—extend life beyond earth—and to do so as quickly as we can,” said Musk.
While Maezawa really paints a picture of creative possibility, Musk prepares to throw that painting into the burning remnants of post-apocalyptic earth while he escapes to Mars. Regardless, Musk hopes eventually to make space travel possible for the common folk.
That’s the million-dollar ticket.
*Joke about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity . . . Don’t worry about it.
Article originally published for Consumers’ Research.