SpaceX Will Fly This Man Around the Moon in 2023

Sep 18, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

SpaceX, the space tourism venture by mega-inventor Elon Musk, announced the name of its first paying customer, who will be launched around in the company’s Big Falcon Rocket (aka BFR, which is still in the works) for a flight around the moon.

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese tech billionaire, said at a press conference on Monday night that he has submitted a down payment for the moon launch, which will reportedly take place in 2023. Neither SpaceX nor Maezawa disclosed the cost of the trip, but the price tag will likely not put too big of a dent in Maezawa’s $2.9 billion e-commerce fortune.

Maezawa, a former rock musician who built his empire as an online fashion tycoon with his apparel website Zozotown, said he would be taking six to eight artists on the moon launch with him — free of charge, CNN reports.

“I want to share this experience and things with as many people as possible,” Maezawa said at the press conference. “So, I choose to go to the moon with artists.”

Speaking with Musk at the press conference, Maezawa called the moon trip a “lifelong dream,” and that out of the three major budding space tourism companies (including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic), SpaceX seemed to be progressing the fastest, and he felt most comfortable with Musk. “I trust his company, his team and his BFR,” Maezawa said.

Musk added that the moon mission will take about four or five days, and once the BFR rocket is built, it will undergo a “bunch of test launches” before passengers would be allowed on board. SpaceX had previously been targeting its Falcon Heavy rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, developed under NASA, for the moon launch, but Musk has since revised the mission plan for the upcoming BFR rocket, which is estimated to cost somewhere around $5 billion, according to the LA Times.

All three major space tourism companies are inching closer to launching paying tourists into the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. Richard Branson said earlier this year his Virgin Galactic was just “two or three flights away” from bringing passengers to space. The price tag for customers booking Virgin Galactic flights will clock in at $250,000 per ticket — or 2 million Virgin Atlantic miles will get you entered into a drawing for a space on a Virgin rocket.

SpaceX has launched 16 rockets so far this year — though none with paying passengers yet. In addition to the moon mission, Musk is setting out on a project to get humans into space to colonize Mars. Musk wants to send 1 million people to the Red Planet and expects SpaceX rockets to start reaching Mars in 2019.

Featured image by DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images. 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.