During a news conference at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, company founder and CEO Elon Musk introduced Maezawa as the first passenger on the new BFR (sometimes short for "Big Falcon Rocket") rocket-spaceship duo now under construction, and confirmed that Maezawa would ride in a loop around the moon.
SpaceX revealed the first passenger its signed up to fly to the moon on Monday for one very expensive art project. "I choose to go to the moon, with artists", he said, adding he would ask them to create works sparked by the the trip upon their return.
After joining SpaceX on stage, Maezawa said that he can finally announce that he has chosen to go to the moon.
"I did not want to have such a fantastic experience by myself", Maezawa said, wearing a blue sports jacket over a white T-shirt printed with a work by the painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.
His love of art led him to decide to invite artists to come along, he said.
"I wish to create incredible works of art for humankind", Maezawa said. "Yeah, maybe we will both be on it". The ship will launch from a booster named the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).
On its website, SpaceX is touting the "first passenger on lunar BFR mission", implying there will be more.
The average distance from Earth to the moon is about 237,685 miles (382,500 kilometers). The space agency aims to build a gateway in the vicinity of the moon, complete with staff, during the 2020s. If all had gone according to schedule, SpaceX would now be gearing up for its first lunar flight, fulfilling its pledge early a year ago to launch a pair of tourists "faster and farther into the solar system than any before them". "They say, who is this Maezawa person?" In 2012, he started the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation to support young artists.
Branson's Virgin Galactic has sold tickets for about $250,000, which is more than the median home price in the United States. He paid $110.5 million for Basquiat's 1982 painting of a graffiti-like black and blue rendition of a human skull, a record price for an American artist, at a Sotheby's auction previous year.
It's not the same mission SpaceX founder Elon Musk outlined previous year. He said then that two people who know each other approached the company about a weeklong flight to the moon and back. Yusaku, however, declined to reveal the figures that he paid for the flight, but the trip will be free-of-cost for the artists that go with him.
A former drummer in a punk band, Mr Maezawa is tentatively planning to make his Moon flight in 2023 aboard SpaceX's forthcoming Big Falcon Rocket spaceship, taking the race to commercialise space travel to new heights. According to Musk, the ultimate goal for the BFS and the BFR is to colonize Mars. Nevertheless, the company is working on it. SpaceX has been revising its Dragon cargo capsule to carry crew to and from the International Space Station with the help of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla Motors, has drawn attention in recent months over his erratic behaviour.
The British diver, Vernon Unsworth, sued Musk for defamation on Monday and is seeking more than $75,000. The 180-foot-long (55 m) spaceship can accommodate 100 people, but SpaceX wants to keep numbers way down on the lunar flyaround, Musk said.