Elon Musk Is Sending a Japanese Fashion Billionaire to Space

Elon Musk has been known for doing a lot of crazy things — some positive, some questionable. But this recent piece of news seems, well, pretty cool. The space entrepreneur is sending Yusaku Maezawa, founder of Japan’s largest e-commerce retailer Zozotown, to space, making Maezawa the first private space tourist.

The Japanese billionaire has purchased all available seats on the Big Falcon Rocket launch vehicle, a yet-to-be-built space vehicle that will be funded in part by Maezawa’s money. The entrepreneur and art collector says he will invite six to eight artists with him on his week-long journey to space, which already has its own hashtag of #dearmoon.

“I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself,” he said during a conference at SpaceX headquarters. Musk has said before that he’s not “100 percent certain we can bring this to flight,” but he said that he’s hoping for Maezawa’s trip to happen in 2023. The very intriguing question of how much a trip to space costs was not revealed.

“What if Picasso had gone to the moon? Or Andy Warhol? Or Michael Jackson or John Lennon? Or Coco Chanel? These are all artists that I adore,” Maezawa said while wearing a Commes des Garcons shirt with Jean-Michel Basquiat’s face. “There are so many artists with us today that I wish could create amazing works of art for humankind, for children of the next generation. And I wish very much that such artists could go to space and see the moon up close and the earth in full view and create works that reflect their experience.”

If the trip takes place, Maezawa and his chosen artists will be the first moon travelers since 1972.

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