back to article Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

SpaceX today named its first paying passenger it will fly around the Moon and back to Earth – and it's Japanese biz baron Yusaku Maezawa. Yeah, him. You know. Him. “SpaceX has signed the world’s first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle — an important step toward enabling access for everyday …

  1. joed

    pathetic

    Pointless waste of energy and release of greenhouse gases. Just another proof that with money and power one can - literally - get away with murder (of those poor bastards that won't be able to afford to move above the rising tide).

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Re: pathetic

      Pretty sure that comment could be copy-pasted under any article I've ever read.

      Portable outrage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: pathetic

        Pretty sure that comment could be copy-pasted under any article I've ever read.

        Even this one? https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/whats-on/family-kids/review-teletubbies-live-bristol-hippodrome-1998344

        1. johnfbw

          Re: pathetic

          That website is a Pointless waste of energy and release of greenhouse gases! Did you see the ad cancer that covered my screen?

    2. Lt.Kije

      Re: pathetic

      More in it's exhalations than in yours.

      1. ratfox Silver badge

        Re: pathetic

        From the point of view of Elon Musk, the survival of humanity and its eventual escape from the solar system is more important than the ecological system of a planet which will anyway be burnt to a crisp sooner or later when it is engulfed by the sun.

        It's a very long-term thing, but when you think of it, it's absolutely factual and there's nothing theoretical about it.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: pathetic

          @ Ratfox

          This is the best planet we've found so far though, and very commutable.

          So is all this effort just in case humans havent died out by the time the lease is up and the earth burns up in the sun , in .. what ... 10 billion years?

          Seriously , I wouldnt worry about it .

          In the billion to one chance that humans learn to stop killing each other , and live in harmony with the planet , and thus survive long enough for the sun to be a problem - those people will be far better equipped to deal with it.

          Preparing for it now is like a caveman trying to build an ocean liner

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: pathetic

            The above comment will get lots of downvotes as it looks like I dissed space , obviously a huge no no on this site.

            I was actually responding to the specific perceived threat of the earth's orbit decaying and falling into the sun, or the sun reaching end-of-life and exploding , is there anyone here who thinks this is an issue we need to start preparing for?

            hint: 5 billion years according to New Scientist

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: pathetic

              Long before 5 billion years our planet will be hit by many asteroids of mass-extinction size. Having orbital technology, both for the telescopes to spot theses asteroids and the tools to divert them is in everyone's interest.

              That just leaves the threats of nuclear war, climate change, nutters with DNA sequences making bio weapons etc.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: pathetic

            "Preparing for it now is like a caveman trying to build an ocean liner"

            How do you learn how to build ocean liners?

            Ironically, there are no ocean liners these days, just cruise ships; different role entirely.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: pathetic

          From the point of view of Elon Musk, the survival of humanity and its eventual escape from the solar system is more important than the ecological system of a planet which will anyway be burnt to a crisp sooner or later when it is engulfed by the sun.

          It's a very long-term thing, but when you think of it, it's absolutely factual and there's nothing theoretical about it.

          Mein Führer!... I... can... WALK!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: pathetic

      Trump should hit SpaceX with Tariffs... lol

  2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    WTF?

    I watched the broadcast

    It was utterly bizarre

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: I watched the broadcast

      > It was utterly bizarre

      I figured it would be, which is why I avoided it. Musk is awkward at *best* and he's almost as bad of a public speaker as I am (I failed 7th grade because I absolutely totally categorically emphatically refused to do the required speeches to the class)

      I may have a couple pints and watch it this weekend.

      > Please click on this story

      Actually I specifically came to El Reg because I knew you'd have a concise no-hype cut-the-bullshit article with the facts of the situation.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: I watched the broadcast

        It wasn't so much Musk's awkward style, which I'm used to by now, but Maezawa's!

        Also, Elon Musk's nipples...

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: I watched the broadcast

          Also, Elon Musk's nipples...

          Where do you think Rocket Nose cones come from?

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: I watched the broadcast

          I'd like to use that as a new expression of surprise/shock.

          Elon Musk's nipples!

          Although then we get into the possibilities of saying, "By Elon Musk's nipples I will strike you down if you say that again!"

          So perhaps I shouldn't.

          1. phuzz Silver badge
            IT Angle

            Re: I watched the broadcast

            "By the nipples of Musk!" has a slightly better ring to it I feel. Just imagine it being said/shouted by Brian Blessed.

            1. onefang Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: I watched the broadcast

              I dunno, musky nipples just smells bad to me.

            2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: I watched the broadcast

              phuzz,

              That's a poor argument. Anything sounds better shouted by Brian Blessed.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "everyday people"

    Because people only endure poverty because they enjoy it so much.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obligatory image

    Dr Strangelove

  5. sawatts

    B-Ark?

    Heart of Gold?

    I'm getting more of a B-Ark vib from the passenger manifest.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: B-Ark?

      That depends on how well the resulting 'Art' is received, being the first artist to see the view from space should result in something with historical importance, but producing a lunar inspired interpretive dance routine would be well….

      Which begs the question, how big are the windows on the BFR crew cabin?

      1. WonkoTheSane
        Alien

        Re: B-Ark?

        "being the first artist to see the view from space should result in something with historical importance"

        It's already been done, by one who has walked on the moon.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: B-Ark?

      Artists and creative types didn't go in the B-Ark. Anyone who thinks the world would be better without creative types should.

      1. wayward4now
        Headmaster

        Re: B-Ark?

        Huh??? They make the best hairdressers don't they?

        As the Sorting Hat would say "I know what to do with you! ...the B Ark for you!!"

    3. wayward4now
      Mushroom

      Re: B-Ark?

      THANK YOU! I really needed that. I hope they make room for Selena Williams! Imagine being locked up in an iron bubble with her for over a week!

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

    Just as a "near miss" isn't a "hit", so taking a trip that goes near the Moon is far more a case of not going there, that arriving.

    Just like there is a big, big, difference between being one the tourists pressing their faces up against the railings of Buckingham Palace and being one of the privileged (or intruder) few who actually get to go inside. If I was putting up that money or putting my life on the line, I'd at least want a few rocks to bring back and to write my name in the dust.

    1. WonkoTheSane
      Headmaster

      Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

      Next time, maybe. This is basically a re-enactment of the Apollo 8 mission.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

        >This is basically a re-enactment of the Apollo 8 mission.

        As long as it's not a re-enactment of the Apollo 13 mission

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Devil

          Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

          I don't know? The crew of artists and sculptors should have the craft skills required to customise some CO2 scrubbers with a bit of cardboard some tape and a sock. Plus some lovely pretty paintings of explosions - and some less terse dialogue for the future movie.

        2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

          >This is basically a re-enactment of the Apollo 8 mission.

          As long as it's not a re-enactment of the Apollo 13 mission

          Or Apollo 1 for that matter.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

      Better still, lying in the dust and making 'Moon angels'.

      I wonder if they'll bring back a photo of a Tesla parked next to the B52?

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

        The Bomber On the Moon was described as a B-17, but the photo in the story showed a B-29: a World War II vintage rather than Dr Strangelove era, so nothing as modern as a B-52. Of course, thats assuming you're thinking of the Sunday Sport story and its followup piece about launching a Shuttle to tow it back home.

        Back on topic a bit: of course the Space-X flight will be just a remake of Apollo 8 rather than Apollo 11.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

          Bomber on the Moon; I stand corrected, I never actually read the original 'reporting' in the sport, I could never quite lower my standards enough to read it. Some of the Bulgarian items were not bad though.

          1. defiler Silver badge

            Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

            I could never quite lower my standards enough to read it.

            I worked in a paper shop at the time. There were loads of cracking headlines in that rag.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

              > I worked in a paper shop at the time. There were loads of cracking headlines in that rag.

              WOMAN PREGNANT FOR 65 YEARS GIVES BIRTH TO PENSIONER

              was one of the better ones.

    3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: there is a big, big, difference

      There is indeed. In this case, it is the difference between making a rocket and module that will reliably and safely chuck a number of human beings around the moon and back, or making a rocket that will chuck a module that has a lander that will reliably get to the moon, enter into orbit around it, get the lander on the surface, get it back to the orbiter, and get the orbiter back to Earth - and keep everybody alive all the way.

      Personally, on a first try (for SpaceX), I prefer the basic round-trip option, thank you.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: there is a big, big, difference

        @ Pascal Monett

        Considering Musky's record with recovering first stages, he probably has more chance of developing a lander than any of the other privateers.

        Maybe, his intentions for a Mars landing are why he began with landing on Earth.

      2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: moon landing

        The next step up from a trip around the moon is to refuel the BFS-crew in orbit with the BFS-tanker. The BFS-crew could then land on the moon and return to Earth without further refuelling.

        <embiggen>If</embiggen> Dearmoon and the first crewed LOP-G mission both launch on their no-earlier-than dates, Dearmoon goes first.

    4. mosw

      Re: This counts as _not_ going to the Moon

      So when I "go to the Niagara Falls", which many tourists do, I am not really going to the Niagara Falls unless I'm in the Niagara river flowing over the falls?

      Besides after selling the "First tourist around the moon" trip for millions or billions, he can still sell the "First tourist on the Moon" for even more!

  7. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Will it have a Paranoid Android?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      More importantly will it have chatty doors? And what will the tea be like?

      "Well boys and girls, this is your first day on a new planet. So I want you to dress up nice and warm, and no playing with any naughty bug-eyed monsters."

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Typical Muskery

    When everything is going wrong in one part of the business ("We can't make cars") announce something else for the fanboiz to slaver over ("Look! A Truck!"). In this case he's about to have his arse handed to him on a plate by the libel courts so of course he has found a passenger for a rocket which hasn't even been designed yet, let alone tested and certified for human flight.

    1. Andrew Newstead

      Re: Typical Muskery

      I think there has been some design, something is actually being built in Los Angeles.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Typical Muskery

      Ian Johnston,

      To be fair to him, I don't think this is distraction. I doubt the Tesla customers and shareholders care about SpaceX. I think it's more that he enjoys doing a bunch of different things.

      Equally I don't think this is a distraction from him being an arsehole on Twitter - and possibly in general. Is he even self-aware enough to admit to himself that he did something wrong? Given he keeps doubling-down on his childish smearing of the bloke?

      On which note, I must say I admire his restraint to only ask for £75,000 in damages. I'd have asked for more. Just on the prinicipal that Musk might not even notice the loss - but then the public admission that he was wrong and an arsehole may be more painful than even a few million.

      Also, as someone else has said, the BFR has been at least partly designed. Haven't they already been testing the engines for a year?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Typical Muskery

        The problem here is proving the damages. Did Musk slander him? Without evidence to the contrary yes. Has it caused damage to the person? No. £1 award on principle. To cause damage it has to impact what someone thinks of the person. Standard thought for a western man going to Thailand is pretty much what Musk is saying, therefore difficult to show any damage caused.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Typical Muskery

          Don't be an idiot. Calling someone a paedophile is definitely bad for their reputation. Especially if you've got a few million people who follow you on Twatface and access to as much global press attention as you want.

          Acting like a wanker should have consequences.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Typical Muskery

            Prove that people think less of him. Only then can you decide upon the level of damages, something you are completely ignoring from my point. Someone said something that wasn’t true does not immediately mean they have caused damage to your reputation. 99% of the world couldn’t give a shit who this guy is, so no damage caused. Also note I stated the case should probably go against Musk, not that there shouldn’t be consequences, so don’t be an idiot.

            1. mosw

              Re: Typical Muskery

              "99% of the world couldn’t give a shit who this guy is, so no damage caused."

              It does not matter what 99% of the world think of him. What does matter is the .00001% of the population that are his present or future clients, employers or parents of his kids classmates. Anyone who might have reason to do a social media search of him but does not already know him could be influenced by Elon's comments.

  9. onefang Silver badge
    Coat

    Shirley it should be named Heart of Fucking Gold?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please click on this story so at least you'll learn

    neither click baiting nor click baits are for learning, mind you. So, to the point, I responded along the lines of mercy clicking angle, aka spare a copper guv...

    (anonymous joke icon unavailable)

  11. rg287
    Headmaster

    The first section of the BFR being assembled by SpaceX

    That photo shows the inside of the mandrel, which is the form they're using to make the BFR's fuselage (from carbon-fibre type composites). It's not flight hardware or part of the BFR itself. It's also the largest such mandrel in the world - bigger than Boeing's similar one for making Dreamliner fuselage sections.

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Thanks for clearing that up...

  12. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Prediction

    "The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back". That's a prediction, not a statement of fact. Only a fact _if_ the rocket can take off with this guy inside without exploding, and _if_ it makes it all the way to the moon. and _if_ it makes it back to earth. That's three very big IFs.

    Some things of interest like "passenger still alive" should also be mentioned.

    1. lee harvey osmond

      Job for a professional astronaut [Re: Prediction]

      Look, I'm just some fat oaf behind a keyboard -- physics and gastronomy, pasta and antipasta, that sort of thing.

      I reckon I'm better qualified than him to fly on that thing (apart from the billionaire bit, obviously). And I wouldn't fancy it; too many things that could go wrong and either kill me if i didn't fix them promptly, or just kill me. It's not even like the flight will be to low Earth orbit and back, so if anything went wrong I could go for an early re-entry.

      Ascent phase goes wrong and I get dropped almost anywhere? Gobi desert, Greenland glacier, Amazonian rain forest, Peckham? I might cope. Middle of the Pacific, have to get out before the spacecraft sinks and then swim for it? Hmmm. Failed circuit breaker, need to wedge it with a pen cap? Yes I know that one. Tiny hole in the cabin during re-entry and no pressure suit? Suppose you can't spot the hole, or can see it but not reach it, to bung it?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Job for a professional astronaut [Prediction]

        SpaceX have shown the design for their crew flightsuit, so you're OK if the capsule depressurises during ascent/descent. You just close the lid, and everything's hunky-dory.

        It was only the original few Soyuz that didn't have room for suits, because (from memory) they changed the design to carry 3 cosmonauts, instead of the original 2.

        One hopes that this billionaire is getting a bit more for his money though. Like a pilot, to handle all the difficult stuff. The artists can handle the easy stuff, like shouting, "Oh God! Oh God! We're most definitely going to die!"

        1. mosw

          Re: Job for a professional astronaut [Prediction]

          "One hopes that this billionaire is getting a bit more for his money though. Like a pilot, to handle all the difficult stuff."

          And at least a couple of "hairdressers and telephone sanitisers".

  13. AIBailey

    Worrying...

    able to carry a payload of 100 people into space, and/or the hardware to keep them alive once they get there.

    Just wait until RyanAir start offering a similar service. You'll be charged extra for peanuts, baggage and life support.

  14. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Heart of Gold?

    ..was powered by an Infinite Improbability Drive. I'm not sure this bodes well!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm, a longer than 3-hours delay for a more than 3500 kms flight - I hope he's either taking off or landing on an EU territory, so he can claim a €600 compensation.

  16. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    Capricorn One set

    Time to pull off the dust sheets?

  17. Ken 16 Silver badge
    WTF?

    And/Or?

    "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."

    He really said he wanted to put 100 people into space OR the hardware to keep them alive?

  18. Gio Ciampa

    A better passenger...

    ...would be "Mad" Mike Hughes, the Flat-Earther - just to shut him up once and for all...

    1. Ochib

      Re: A better passenger...

      However "Mad" Mike Hughes would claim that it was the drugs that made him see that the earth was round. And the SpaceX put these drugs in the air supply

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A better passenger...

      Any chance they can send Zuckerberg and he doesn't come back?

  19. heyrick Silver badge

    SpaceX is known for blowing past its deadlines

    They're also known for crowd pleasing explosions.

    Come on, admit it, the reason you watch SpaceX broadcasts is for the part where it blows up, right?

    1. Andrew Newstead

      Re: SpaceX is known for blowing past its deadlines

      Er, no actually. I'm fascinated by the landings of the first stages, can't get enough of that.

      1. rg287

        Re: SpaceX is known for blowing past its deadlines

        Er, no actually. I'm fascinated by the landings of the first stages, can't get enough of that.

        Two for the price of one.

        I keep going back and watching this periodically. It just doesn't get boring.

  20. Clive Galway

    Could be a Celebrity Big Brother worth watching

    If eviction meant airlock...

    How do I vote for Justin Beiber?

    1. Hopalong

      Re: Could be a Celebrity Big Brother worth watching

      What has Cislunar space done to warrant Justin Beiber?

  21. DougS Silver badge

    The Japanese guy ought to take the head of the Flat Earth society

    Just to see what cockamamie explanation he has for how he goes several orbits around the Earth on the way around the Moon and back again.

  22. Secta_Protecta

    "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."

    So it'll either carry 100 people and the hardware to keep them alive, or just the hardware to keep them alive. Still in high level design phase?

    1. onefang Silver badge

      "So it'll either carry 100 people and the hardware to keep them alive, or just the hardware to keep them alive. Still in high level design phase?"

      You missed an option, it could just carry the 100 people. They'll just have to hold their breath until they get to Mars, and maybe carry a Mars Bar in a pocket, in case they get hungry.

    2. mosw

      Well one of his proposed uses for the BFR is for travel between Earth bound cities. The ride would be short so no food necessary just a lot of 0 g barf bags.

  23. fajensen Silver badge
    Pint

    Can I buy life insurance on that guy?

    I just feel lucky today!

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