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It's finally starting to feel a little more real as Musk announced the company's first paying passenger on Monday. Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese entrepreneur, purchased an entire BFR rocket with plans to ask a handful of artists to join him on his journey - artists who can then create works to inspire others to dream.

The event started with Musk speaking about why the BFR is important and why humans have to go not just to Mars, but also beyond the Solar System as well. Modern art is one of his passions, too, and in 2016 he spent around $80 million on paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso. Musk estimated the total BFR system would cost around $5bn to develop, perhaps as much as $10bn and more than $2bn. "I choose to invite artists from around the world on my journey". As the Times noted, the Falcon Heavy has undergone only one live test and SpaceX no longer plans to certify it for human flight.

Elon Musk attempted to write the next chapter in his quest to open up space to the masses by announcing the first paying tourist that his company, SpaceX, would fly on a trip around the moon.

By comparison, the Falcon Heavy is 70m tall and consists of a central rocket core surrounded by two boosters, each with a diameter of 3.66m.

First announced on 27 February 2017, the Falcon Heavy/Crew Dragon customer mission would have seen two private citizens - one of them Maezawa and the other a chosen passenger of his - launched into a lunar free-return trajectory for a flyby of the moon and return to Earth. "That is the intent of BFR - to make people excited about the future".

"It's unsafe to be clear", Musk said.

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Those who have signed up to fly on Virgin Galactic sub-orbital missions include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber.

The unmarried father of three will be making his lunar voyage inside a "BFR launch vehicle" - described by SpaceX as "the most powerful rocket in history, capable of carrying humans to the Moon, Mars, and beyond".

But newrenderings Musk shared this morning hint at significant design changes.

It's not the same mission SpaceX founder Elon Musk outlined a year ago.

The BFR will be constructed at a SpaceX facility in Los Angeles and is being created to handle everything from missions to Earth orbit to long-term cargo and crew missions to Mars. "It's not a sure thing".

In an interview in March, Musk said the ship was now being built, adding "I think we'll probably be able to do short flights, short sort of up-and-down flights, probably sometime in the first half of next year". "But we're going to do everything humanly possible to bring it to flight as fast as we can and as safely as we can".