SpaceX CEO Elon Musk today introduced Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as the first paying customer for a trip around the moon.
“Finally I can tell you that ‘I choose to go to the moon,’” Maezawa said, echoing President John F. Kennedy’s famous phrase.
Maezawa, 42, founded a mail-order retail business called Start Today in 1998, which spawned what’s now Japan’s largest fashion retail website, known as Zozotown. His net worth is estimated at more than $3 billion.
He’s made a name for himself as a musician and art collector as well as an entrepreneur. During tonight’s big reveal at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., Maezawa said he intended to invite six to eight artists from around the world, on the level of the late Pablo Picasso or Michael Jackson, to go around the moon with him.