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Yusaku Maezawa bought artists seats on SpaceX moon trip for #dearMoon



yasuka maezawa lunar moon space tourist japanese billionaire spacex bfr big falcon rocket moon mission lunar event AP_18261106589733
Yusaku Maezawa
is a Japanese entrepreneur and billionaire who is paying Elon
Musk’s SpaceX to fly him and a handful of artists around the moon
inside a Big Falcon Rocket spaceship.

Chris Carlson/AP

  • On Monday, Elon
    announced the first passenger for SpaceX’s
    first tourist flight around the moon: Japanese billionaire and
    art collector Yusaku Maezawa.
  • Maezawa
    bought all the seats on the flight
     — which will use
    SpaceX’s Big
    Falcon Rocket launch system
     — in order to invite
    artists to accompany him on the journey.
  • He wants these artists, who will come from a variety of
    fields but haven’t been selected yet, to create art that will
    inspire humanity after the trip.
  • Maezawa is calling the project #dearMoon.

For inspiration, humanity has always looked up.

We’ve gazed at the moon and stars, and created poems, epics,
paintings, and songs based on the sky.

Now, if the construction of SpaceX’s
next rocket ship
proceeds according to Elon Musk’s plans, a

group of artists will get to experience an up-close view of the
and see Earth from space on the first tourist flight
around the moon.

And they’ll do it all for free, thanks to Japanese billionaire
and art collector Yusaku

On Monday evening, Musk announced that Maezawa will be the first
private passenger to travel to space on SpaceX’s BFR (short for
Big Falcon Rocket or Big F—ing Rocket, as Musk sometimes calls

“Finally I can tell you that I choose to go to the moon!” Maezawa
said during the announcement. But he didn’t buy just one seat on
the BFR’s inaugural journey. He bought all of them.

His plan is to give a lucky group of creators the opportunity to
gain a completely unique perspective on our world and use that
experience to create art for the rest of us.

The BFR is still a long way from being fully built or tested, but
the design calls for a 387-foot-tall launch system with two
parts: a booster and a spaceship. If all goes as planned,
Maezawa’s lunar mission will happen in 2023.

That will be the first time this rocket ship — or any in history
— will transport civilians out 240,000 miles around the

The view from space

Astronauts describe the feeling of peering at Earth from space as
so transformative that the experience has earned its own name:
overview effect
. It’s the moment when your perspective shifts
as you recognize that all of human existence is tied to this one
tiny blue marble — a small world hurtling through the vastness of

Here’s what Carl
Sagan wrote
about one of the most famous images of Earth from
space — a photo by Voyager 1 taken in 1990:

That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love,
everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being
who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and
suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and
economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and
coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king
and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father,
hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals,
every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme
leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species
lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The photo Sagan is referring to (below) shows Earth as a tiny,
almost invisible dot of light.

voyager 1 earth pale blue dot 1990 nasa jpl
photo of Earth from 4 billion miles away, also known as the “Pale
Blue Dot” image.


The path that Maezawa and the eight artists he’ll select will
take around the moon is expected to be similar to the one Apollo
8 astronauts took in December 1968.  

In a forthcoming documentary about Apollo 8 called Earthrise, mission leader
Frank Borman is asked about what it felt like to be one of the
first humans to see the Earth from that distance.

“What they should’ve sent was poets because I don’t think we
captured, in its entirety, the grandeur of what we had seen,”
Borman says in the documentary. 

That’s what Maezawa seems to want to accomplish with his trip. In
yesterday’s announcement, he said that he’s thought a lot about
what masterpieces artists might create if they were given a
chance to see that kind of view and have their own overview

“What if Basquiat had gone to space and seen the moon up close or
seen the Earth in full view?” Maezawa said during the
announcement. “Just thinking about it now gets my heart rushing.
But once I got started, I could not stop thinking about who


yusaku maezawaSpaceX

“Many of you may be wondering why do I want to go to the moon?
What do I want to do there? And most of all, why did I purchase
the entire BFR?” Maezawa said at the announcement.

His answer was that he’s always loved the moon, but also wants to
give art to the world — something he believes could contribute to
world peace. 

Maezawa was a skateboarder and musician before founding several
companies, including the custom fashion company Zozo. The
billionaire is now best known as an art collector; last year, he
purchased Jean-Michel Basquiat’s stunning 1982 painting
“Untitled” for $110.5 million.

To foster the creation of artwork that might inspire humanity,
Maezawa said he plans to invite six to eight artists on the moon
mission with him. That group might include a film director,
painter, dancer, novelist, musician, fashion designer,
photographer, sculptor, and architect. Upon return they’d be
asked to create something.

dearmoon spacex bfr trip around moon#dearMoon/YouTube

Musk said Maezawa’s willingness to invest so much money into the
initiative and gift the experience of spaceflight to artists
helped restore Musk’s own faith in humanity.

No one knows how much Maezawa paid for the seats, but it’s a
significant sum.

“He’s paying a lot of money that would help with the ship
and its booster,” Musk said on Monday. “He’s ultimately paying
for the average citizen to travel to other planets.”

Maezawa is calling the project #dearMoon, and a dearMoon website with a video
explains the initiative.

There’s still a lot that Maezawa and Musk said they couldn’t
share yet about the project. The artists have not been chosen,
and even the process of selecting them is a mystery.

But it sounded like Maezawa may have some names in mind already.

“If you should hear from me, please say yes and accept my
invitation,” he said. “Please don’t say no!”

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