Meet Yusaku Maezawa.
The billionaire founder of online Japanese clothing retailer Zozotown will become the first person to tour the moon aboard SpaceX’s yet-to-be-developed Big Falcon Rocket, the aerospace company’s CEO, Elon Musk, announced.
For an undisclosed sum, Maezawa chartered every ticket on the flight, which will take him and up to eight artists on a four- to five-day slingshot journey around the moon as soon as 2023 — the centerpiece to a project dubbed “Dear Moon.” He also suggested that Musk should join the mission as a fellow passenger.
“Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon,” the business tycoon said in a news conference held Monday evening at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. “This is my lifelong dream.”
In a letter shared on the website for “Dear Moon,” Maezawa wrote: “People are creative and have a great imagination. We all have the ability to dream dreams that have never been dreamt, to sing songs that have never been sung, to paint that which has never been seen before. I hope that this project will inspire the dreamer within each of us. Together with Earth’s top artists, I will be heading to the moon … just a little earlier than everyone else.”
The 42-year-old, who is also an entrepreneur and art collector, made headlines last year for purchasing a 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat for $110.5 million — the highest price paid in an auction for a piece of artwork by an American artist. Forbes estimates Maezawa’s net worth at $2.9 billion.
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