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What you need to know about the first tourist that SpaceX is taking around the moon

What you need to know about the first tourist that SpaceX is taking around the moon
[Photo: Flickr user Official SpaceX Photos]

Yusaku Maezawa, 42, is a Japanese billionaire who founded the online retailers Start Today and Zozotown, where he made his fortune. On Tuesday Maezawa joined Elon Musk at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, to announce he will be the first tourist to be taken around the moon on SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), which is expected to launch in 2023. Maezawa did not reveal how much he paid for the upcoming flight, but Musk confirmed Maezawa is “paying a very significant amount of money.”

So just who is this eccentric billionaire risking his life to be SpaceX’s first space tourist? Some facts about him:

  • He never went to college, instead choosing to move to California to play in a rock band.
  • He then built a shopping website called Zozotown, which made him rich.
  • His current net worth is about $2.3 billion.
  • He is a self-proclaimed art lover and made waves in the art world when in 2017 he bought a single Jean-Michel Basquiat painting at a Sotheby’s auction for $110.5 million–a then-record for an American artist’s work.
  • In 2016 he sold $250 million worth of stock so he could buy more art.
  • He intends to take six to eight people with him on his lunar trip, including a combination of painters, musicians, dancers, photographers, film directors, fashion designers, and architects, reports Bloomberg.
  • He wants the artists he brings with him to create new works of art inspired by their trip to the moon when they return to Earth.

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