Science

Elon Musk tweets new images of SpaceX's forthcoming BFR spacecraft

Elon Musk tweets new images of SpaceX's forthcoming BFR spacecraft

USA tech company SpaceX has announced a new plan to launch a tourist around the Moon using its Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a massive launch vehicle that is being created to carry people into deep space.

With SpaceX, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and entrepreneur Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic battling it out to launch private-sector spacecraft, the SpaceX passenger will join a growing list of celebrities and the ultra-rich who have secured seats on flights offered on the under-development vessels.

The announcement was made at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, on Tuesday.

No one has gone to the moon since the Apollo astronauts, with the last trip in 1972. They will travel on a free return trajectory, carrying the BFR to the moon's far side, the side never seen from Earth, then back to Earth again.

"These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth, and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us", he said at the press conference.

Maezawa made his fortune by building up Start Today, an e-commerce business that includes a popular online clothing site in Japan. "I choose to go to the moon with artists!"

The company will use the extra space to store lots of food, water, fuel and spare parts, in case something goes wrong during the flight.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted that Yusaku would be "bringing eight (brave) artists & cultural figures with him on the journey around the moon".




The amount Maezawa is paying for the trip was not disclosed, however, Musk said the businessman outlaid a significant deposit and will have a material impact on the cost of developing the BFR.

The 106 metre (347 feet) long ship was first announced past year, and Musk said the ship will contain up to 40 cabins which will have enough space for 100 people.

SpaceX intends to send Maezawa and his crew on a trip around the moon aboard the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).

He said SpaceX has updated the design for the BFR rocket for the third time in three years.

SpaceX did not reveal how much money did Maezaw had to pay to realise his childhood dream.

"Ultimately this BFR system is meant to carry anyone to orbit, and to the Moon, and to Mars, so he (Maezawa) is ultimately paying for every citizen to travel to other planets" Musk added.

The mission, which will happen in 2023, at the earliest, will last for around six days. "But we're going to do everything humanly possible to bring it to flight as fast as we can and as safely as we can".

Musk has said he wants the BFR's vessel to be able to hold around 100 people, and that the launch system could one day be used to colonize the Moon and Mars in order to make humans a "multi-planetary" species.


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