But so far this year, his space firm has also kept up a schedule outpaced only by the Chinese government, making 15 launches with its Falcon 9 rocket.
Elon Musk/SpaceX via TwitterA Sept. 2018 rendering of SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket launching through the cloud tops and toward space. That flight, set for 2020, was cancelled because the company didn't want to spend the resources certifying those rockets for human travel.
According to Musk's presentation [PDF] previous year, the mighty BFR will stand 118 metres tall when erected on its launchpad, and will be able to lift 150 tons into low Earth orbit with the help of a massive central booster, making it the most powerful rocket ever to fly.
Maezawa added that he won't be travelling alone as he'll be bring artists along with him.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed him to the world on Monday night after days of speculation about who the passenger might be. He says the rocket will have to be tested many times before a human passengers are launched. If all had gone according to schedule, SpaceX would now be gearing up for its first lunar flight, fulfilling its pledge early a year ago to launch a pair of tourists "faster and farther into the solar system than any before them".
"There could be some natural or man made event that ends life as we know it", he said.
Maezawa - described by SpaceX as a "fashion innovator" and "globally recognized art curator" - will be the first human to embark on a lunar mission since 1972, when the last Apollo mission went down. Maezawa is an avid art collector and recently spent over $110 million on a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
When asked about the paid-for circumlunar navigation flight, Mr. Musk stated that the flight would be switching to BFR, would generally follow the same flight profile (free return trajectory), and would take place No Earlier Than 2019.
Maezawa didn't immediately say who will be on his guest list for the spaceflight, but in response to a question from a reporter he said he'd consider inviting Musk. You have to be pretty loaded to score a tourist spot on a spaceship. Musk estimated the total BFR system would cost around $5bn to develop, perhaps as much as $10bn and more than $2bn. I thought long and hard about how to be able to become the first private passenger to go to the Moon.
"He's paying a very significant amount of money", Musk said.
On its website, SpaceX is touting the "first passenger on lunar BFR mission", implying there will be more moon trips. The U.S. military branch last week downplayed media reports that it was looking into Musk's marijuana use on a livestreamed podcast earlier this month, saying they were inaccurate and that it was determining the facts.
The company considered the would-be trip an "important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space".
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