Today, Elon Musk and SpaceX - the company that Musk founded in 2002 to "revolutionize space technology" - announced the name of the first private passenger scheduled to fly around the moon on SpaceX's BFR launch vehicle.
After giving an update on the BFR's overall architectural changes (for which NASASpaceflight will publish an in-depth article later), Elon Musk, founder, CEO, and Lead Designer at SpaceX, introduced the person who purchased an entire BFR for a flight around the moon.
The BFR was first announced in 2016, touted as the most powerful rocket in history, even more potent than the Saturn V Moon rocket that launched the Apollo missions five decades ago.
Maezawa is the 18th richest person in Japan with a fortune of $3 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Maezawa, 42, whose net worth is US$2.3 billion, is the founder and CEO of Japan's largest e-commerce company Start Today Co.
Maezawa's other hobby is amassing valuable works of modern art and previous year, he announced the acquisition of a Jean-Michel Basquiat masterpiece worth $110.5million. Maezawa, an avid art collector, plans to bring six to eight artists with him.
Maezawa said Monday that the SpaceX BFR rocket will make the trip in 2023. The first test flights of the BFR rocket are slated for next year.
"This has done a lot to restore my faith in humanity - that somebody's willing to do this", Musk said. "This is my lifelong dream". Now, if all goes as planned, Maezawa and his artist friends will by carried on their lunar journey by BFR.
Only 24 humans have visited the Moon - all of them Americans; 12 of them landed on the moon.
The Big Falcon Rocket will be almost 400 feet long and equipped with a reusable booster rocket that will produce 200 tons of thrust.
Mr Maezawa did not immediately say who will be on his guest list for the spaceflight, but in response to a question from a reporter he said he would consider inviting Mr Musk. The only catch is that they create something to honor their time aboard the BFR and for the moon trip.
"As far as me going, I'm not sure". Musk reiterated several times that the company's focus right now is on NASA and national security work and that only 5% or so is focused on the BFR.
SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said last week that there was "no chance" that Musk's conduct will impact SpaceX's ability to win contracts, and that there's been "no impact at all" on the level of confidence in him on the part of the closely held company's backers.
It consists of a massive rocket booster that promises to out-power any that has ever been built and a towering spacecraft, nicknamed BFS for Big Falcon Spaceship, that will vault out of the Earth's atmosphere.