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SpaceX: Japanese Billionaire Will Be First Private Passenger Around The Moon

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) - SpaceX says Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be the first private passenger on a solo rocket trip around the moon.

The 42-year-old entrepreneur appeared at an event Monday evening at the space launch company's headquarters of the space launch company near Los Angeles.

He says it's been his lifelong dream to go into space. He says just thinking about the journey gets his heart racing.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk says Maezawa will fly to the moon aboard a new rocket called the BFR, which is still in development.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa says he will invite six to eight artists, architects, designers and other creative people on a weeklong journey to circumnavigate the moon.

Maezawa said Monday that the SpaceX BFR rocket will make the trip in 2023.

The reusable 118-meter (387-foot) rocket will have its own dedicated passenger ship.

The average distance from Earth to the moon is about 237,685 miles (382,500 kilometers).

No one has been there since an Apollo mission in 1972.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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