Japanese billionaire businessman is SpaceX's Moon tourist

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The big reveal on who it is - and when the flight to the moon will be - will be announced Monday at the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Japanese billionaire businessman, Yusaku Maezawa, will head to the moon in 2023, taking the race to commercialise space travel to new heights.

Announced previous year, the BFR ship will sit 118 metres long - previously announced as 106 metres (347 feet) long - and Musk has said the ship will contain up to 40 cabins which will have enough space for 100 people.

Our correspondent, Mary MacCarthy, joins us from Los Angeles. Modern art is one of his passions, too, and in 2016 he spent around $80 million on paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso.

The high cost of the trip - estimated at around $150m (£120m) - means the person is also presumably a billionaire. "I choose to invite artists from around the world on my journey". If all had gone according to schedule, SpaceX would now be gearing up for its first lunar flight, fulfilling its pledge early previous year to launch a pair of tourists "faster and farther into the solar system than any before them".

Yusaku Maezawa, 42, who runs Japanese clothing shopping site Zozotown, is set to travel on a Big Falcon Rocket spaceship that is now being developed, the US space company said. These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth, and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us.

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After that, the BFR will move on to larger scale tests - with Mr. Musk noting that the entire BFR system will be tested in an uncrewed configuration before Maezawa and his fellow passengers embark on their voyage around the moon. "That's the intention of BFR, is to make people excited about the future", he said. Two years later would mark the last time NASA astronauts would visit the lunar surface. Find out who's flying and why on Monday, September 17'.

The vehicle is now under development at the Los Angeles Port.

Prior to Monday's announcement, Musk last publicly described the BFR and showed renderings of the system at the 2017 International Aeronautical Congress. "It's not a sure thing".

The BFR is essentially a 48m long spaceship attached to the top of a reusable 36m rocket booster.

Musk also used the announcement to announce some changes to the BFR design, focused on the upper stage, or spaceship, portion. Musk has said he wants it to be able to carry a payload of 100 people into space, and/or the hardware to keep them alive once they get there. "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".

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