Meet Yusaku Maezawa, first SpaceX moon tourist

Meet Yusaku Maezawa, first SpaceX moon tourist

Markowsky, who teaches drawing at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, responded to Monday's announcement by Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire clothing retailer, that he was paying Elon Musk's SpaceX an undisclosed amount to be the first tourist to circle the moon. Elon Musk does not yet have a rocket that can circle the moon but does have a passenger.

So he's inviting up to eight other people - including artists, designers and architects to join him, in what would be a historic moment. The BFR is said to become the main transport vehicle that will be used any future Mars colonization trips that SpaceX hopes to achieve.

The Moon is about 385,000 km away from Earth and the last time an astronaut traveled there was in 1972 as part of the Apollo 17 mission.

"I wish to create unbelievable works of art for humankind", Maezawa said.

He then built a shopping website called Zozotown, which made him rich.

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If you didn't make the cut as one of the eight artists chosen to ride in SpaceX's 2023 mission around the moon, you might be in luck.

Michael Markowsky said his practice as an artist is all about working in extreme conditions - whether it's painting in -40 C in the far north or travelling at close to twice the speed of sound in a fighter jet.

On plans to send "space tourists" to the moon SpaceX said in early 2017.

'By the way, if you should hear from me please say yes and accept my invitation, ' he said. He drew attention previous year with the purchase of a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting for $110.5 million.

If all goes according to plan, Maezawa will be the first non-American to orbit the moon. He said then that two people who know each other approached the company about a weeklong flight to the moon and back.

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Musk cautioned at the news conference that SpaceX is not certain about the 2023 timing for the moon tourism mission.

The latest blueprints mark the final major redesign of the rocket, whose development is expected to cost roughly $5 billion, according to Musk.

SpaceX has already upended the space industry with its relatively low-priced reusable Falcon 9 rockets. Sixteen successful missions for SpaceX this year is a bright spot in an otherwise tumultuous few months for Musk, who is also chairman and chief executive officer of electric-car maker Tesla Inc. He is an avid art collector, and in 2016 he spent $80 million on paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso, two artists he cited as inspirations during Monday's event. Bezos' Blue Origin has been tight-lipped about the price of its tickets, but Reuters reported in July that they could cost in the $200,000 range.

The company noted that the trip will last about a week. SpaceX, which is under contract by NASA to fly its astronauts to the International Space Station, recently announced it had to delay that first flight to April of next year.

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