Meet the first lunar tourist

    The first space tourist, SpaceX, to fly around the moon (without landing) on ​​a BFR ship, will be Yusaku Maezawa - a billionaire entrepreneur with a fortune of about $ 2.9 billion and a collector of works of art. Maezawa is going to invite 6-8 creators of various directions (artists, photographers, musicians, directors, fashion designers or even architects) to fly with him. The flight should take place as early as 2023 - before the 51st anniversary of the return of people from the moon (but Ilon Musk is not yet sure of the finality of these dates). The details of the SpaceX press conference that ended are under the cut.

    The beginning of the press conference was a bit long, but journalist Jeff Foster didn’t fail to say something, saying that “the conference is delayed like any large SpaceX project”. After showing the screensaver and the renderers of the new version of the BFR ship announced a couple of days before, they turned on the broadcast in the SpaceX workshop filled with viewers and Falcon 9 rockets. Soon Ilon appeared on the scene:

    he began his speech with an idea that he does not tire of repeating: humankind has now been given the opportunity to become a multiplanetary civilization and for how long is unknown to us. Therefore, we need to realize this opportunity as soon as possible so that this “window” does not close for us.

    After that, he turned to the story about SpaceX, saying that their history as a space launch operator began 10 years ago with a decisive launch where the company's history could stop. He also said that a decade ago no one (including him) could predict SpaceX of such a successful future.

    Next, Ilon Mask invited to the scene the immediate culprit of the press conference - Yusaku Maedzawa. During the conference, Yusaku referred to a poor knowledge of English and addressed the translator to his left a couple of times, but on the whole spoke quite well. First of all, Maezawa told his short biography: how he first came to the USA, how he was a musician and how he founded his company ZOZO almost exactly 20 years ago.

    Then he went to his project called #dearmoon (to the project's project and its author , as well as his twitter ), which consists in sending to the Moon along with him up to 8 creators who, on returning to Earth, will have to describe their feelings from what they saw and experienced, and then present their creations at a special exhibition.

    Then Ilon Musk returned to the improvised stage, and he and Maedzawa began to answer questions, the most important of which are, perhaps, these:

    Mask and Maezawa avoided a direct answer to the question of how much this historic flight would cost, but Musk pointed out that the BFR project should cost the firm a very rough estimate of $ 5 billion (he pointed out a $ 2-10 fork to another question of a similar nature billion) and that at the moment SpaceX spends only 5% of its efforts on the development of this transport. All SpaceX forces will be thrown into the creation of a BFR immediately after the departure of the manned spacecraft Dragon V2 from the testing stage to scheduled flights.

    In the first part of the press conference, Mask presented equipment for winding carbon fiber from the main cylindrical part of the BFR hull, the first “hopping” tests of which should begin at the end of 2019.

    Before the launch of people on BFR, a lot of tests will be performed, but the BFR unmanned flight around the moon is not planned yet. Also for the first flight into “deep space” the crew is planned to be limited to 10 people, which probably explains the restriction of 6-8 people in the Maezawa competition. High-altitude flights are planned for 2020, Ilon also added that "if everything goes according to plan, then the first orbital flight should take place in 2-3 years."

    At the first stage, both the BFS ship and the BFR rocket will have identical Raptor engines designed for operation in the atmosphere (which is explained by the desire to move quickly to the ship’s flights). So the vacuum version of the Raptor, with an enlarged nozzle for the ship, is planned to be completed later. But despite this, Musk is not yet sure about the fulfillment of the terms of the BFR / BFS tourist flight around the Moon within 2023, and the dates may move “right”. The internal volume of the ship increased to 1000-1100 m 3 . The changes presented this time should be the last major changes for the BFR.

    A picture of Ilona and Maedzawa taken before the press conference.

    It is very touching that Maezawa, at the beginning of his speech, uttered the phrase "I choose to fly to the moon" almost exactly repeating the wordsJohn Kennedy . To the question of Mask about how he relates to buying Maejawa’s moon flight and inviting several creators to fly with him for free, he literally said “he gave me faith in humanity”. In addition, the flight of Yusaku Maedzawa may be an update of the Apollo 13 record for the greatest distance of man from Earth (because of an accident, they had to fly around the Moon in a higher orbit than other Apollo missions) - would Yusaku Maedzawa’s first words come back “I flew further all because he stood on the shoulders of giants ”(a modified phrase said by Isaac Newton)? Shows time.

    UPD: Ilon Musk wrote that the mission will be broadcast for high-resolution VR glasses.

    You can watch the original , and translated into Russian by the Alpha Centauri group - here .

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