Elon Musk’s SpaceX space transportation company on Monday named Japanese billionaire businessman and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa as the first passenger for a moon voyage aboard its forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship.
"There are so many things that make people sad about the future, but becoming a space-faring civilization makes you glad to be a human being,” Musk said at a news conference in California.
"I hope that people will see it that way. That is the intent of BFR, to make people excited about the future," said Musk, referring to the yet-to-be-built spaceship.
After being introduced at the press conference, Maezawa shouted: “Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the moon!"
He said he would like to bring five to eight artists aboard the voyage.
Maezawa, 42, is the founder and CEO of Japan’s largest e-commerce company Start Today Co. and has a net worth of $2.3 billion according to Forbes.
"I would like to thank Elon Musk and SpaceX for creating the opportunity to go around the moon in their BFR," Maezawa wrote on his Instagram account.
The Big Falcon Rocket may not be ready for human flight for five years at least, according to Musk.