SpaceX announced today that it will be sending a group of civilians to the moon around 2023.
Yusaku Maezawa is the 14th wealthiest billionaire from Japan, owner of Japanese apparel brand ZOZO. He will flying with a group of 6-8 other civilians: musicians, sculptors, designers, architects and other artists. He is calling the moon mission project, #dearMoon.
The civilian astronauts will travel to the moon SpaceX’s currently in-development BFR (Big Falcon Rocket). Production of the main body of BFR has already begun at its Port of Los Angeles production facility. SpaceX plans to begin hopping tests at its Boca Chica, Texas launch site late next year.
BFR is the rocket that Elon Musk and SpaceX hope will one day bring humans to mars, transforming the human race into a multi-planetary species.
Yusaku Maezawa has stated that he has payed upfront at least part of the cost of the mission to the moon. The mission will last 5-6 days. Elon Musk states that payment has a material effect on the development of BFR, that it was, “not insignificant.” And that BFR development and production costs are around 5 billion dollars.
Of the 2023 launch date, Musk states that it is the best case scenario, dependent on not hitting any major snags during development.
More information about the mission can be found on it’s website, https://dearmoon.earth/