Japan fashion guru Maezawa lands first SpaceX moon flight

HAWTHORNE, Calif./TOKYO (Reuters) - SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space transportation company, on Monday named its first private passenger on a voyage around the moon as Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, the founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo.

A former drummer in a punk band, Maezawa is tentatively planning to make his moon flight in 2023 aboard SpaceX’s forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship, taking the race to commercialize space travel to new heights.

Only 24 astronauts have flown beyond Earth’s protective magnetic shield, in missions spanning a four-year period from December 1968 to December 1972. Maezawa’s identity was revealed at an event on Monday evening at the company’s headquarters and rocket factory in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne.