The 42-year-old Maezawa is one of Japan's most colorful executives and is a regular fixture in the country's gossipy weeklies with his collection of foreign and Japanese art, fast cars and celebrity girlfriend. "These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us". Over the past two decades, the South African-born American entrepreneur has emerged as one of Silicon Valley's most recognized faces worldwide.
It's finally starting to feel a little more real as Musk announced the company's first paying passenger on Monday.
The BFS is said to be able to hold 100 passengers. Twelve walked on the lunar surface.
SpaceX said the mission will launch aboard its upcoming launch system, called the Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR.
The amount Maezawa is paying for the trip was not disclosed, however, Musk said the businessman outlaid a significant deposit and will have a material impact on the cost of developing the BFR. Find out who's flying and why on Monday, September 17'.
That now stands to change with BFR and signals a synergy between SpaceX and Maezawa in terms of using the BFR architecture to make space accessible to everyone.
SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk outlined a somewhat different mission a year ago.
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Once again, Musk's big news came in the face of nagging questions and tumult - this time generated largely by his own behaviour. The moon trip would last four to five days, he said.
At the time, SpaceX was to have used its heavy-lift Falcon Heavy rocket and the crewed version of the existing Dragon spacecraft.
That design is likely to continue undergoing major shifts well beyond the commencement of integrated Grasshopper-style hop tests of BFR's spaceship upper stage (known as BFS), as flight-testing the rocket's major components will nearly invariably result in design changes, be it major or minor.
The BFR spacecraft's shape is reminiscent of the space shuttle, the bus-like U.S. spaceships that carried astronauts to space 135 times from 1981 to 2011.
SpaceX has already contributed to space ventures by privately developing a liquid-fuel launch vehicle that orbited the Earth in 2008. "But we're going to do everything humanly possible to bring it to flight as fast as we can and as safely as we can".
Besides running SpaceX and Tesla, Musk has also invested in the solar energy company SolarCity to turn his vision of a solar-powered future into a reality.