Elon Musk's SpaceX will send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the moon

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"It's unsafe to be clear", Musk said.

SpaceX says it will identify the adventurous traveler Monday who will become the first person to travel to the moon since 1972 - although the trip won't include an actual landing. "This is my lifelong dream".

The 42-year-old is worth an estimated $2.9 billion and has been known to drop unfathomable amounts of money on art - including a Jean-Michel Basquiat purchase in 2016 for more than $57 million.

Maezawa says he intends to invite artists from different disciplines, including literature, film, visual arts, architecture and fashion.

But SpaceX is already looking beyond space travel.

The BFR is an ambitious launch system that's being prototyped at the Port of Los Angeles.

Until now, Americans are the only ones who have left Earth's orbit.

He continued: "Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon ... just staring at the moon filled my imagination ... it's continued to inspire humanity, and that's why I could not pass up this opportunity to see the moon up close". Twelve walked on the lunar surface.

Who will fly with the mystery passenger is among the many questions that Musk is likely to address during the announcement.

Musk outlined a somewhat different SpaceX lunar mission a year ago.

'He stepped forward, ' Musk added. To be clear, we are honored that he would choose us.

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'This is unsafe, to be clear. "This is not walk in the park here". "You have to set some kind of date that's the things-go-right date". There is a chance something could go wrong'.

SpaceX has been hyping the planned Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) Lunar Mission as an epic trip. According to Musk, the spaceship could shuttle about 100 passengers to the red planet.

The response tweet sent Musk's fanbase into a myriad of speculations.

"This would be a long loop around the moon", stated Mr. Musk in regard to the private citizen flight of BFR.

But newrenderings Musk shared this morning hint at significant design changes.

Shortly after his successful Falcon Heavy Launch, Musk said he expected a "full-scale test" of the massive rocket within the next few years.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the trip will take four or five days. Nevertheless, SpaceX is pressing on, and apparently feels confident enough in its work that it is comfortable parading its first paying private space "tourist" in front of the world.

With SpaceX, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, the SpaceX passenger will join a growing list of celebrities and the ultra-rich who have secured seats on flights offered on the under-development vessels. "Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest, and we expect more to follow". Blue Origin's price has not been revealed.

SpaceX isn't the only company looking to turn space tourism into a booming business.

Musk's successes have recently been overshadowed by his behaviour and the struggles of his Tesla electric auto company to deliver.

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