Late Night Happy Fantasies Open Thread: To the MOON, and BEYOND!

If you have a spare billion lying around, why *not* make a bet that in five years (or ten, whenever, ya skeptic) you’ll be in a position to be the very first space tourist? And if you can afford that bet, why not bring your own hand-picked entourage of professional artists to write up your adventures? Like Marco Polo, but without the nasty medieval bits!…

SpaceX said Monday night that it would send Yusaku Maezawa, a billionaire entrepreneur from Japan, on a trip around the moon in 2023 aboard the company’s yet-to-be-built rocket. And Maezawa won’t be flying alone. Joining him will be six to eight artists, chosen from a pool of painters, photographers, musicians, film directors, fashion designers, and architects from around the world.

“Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon,” Maezawa said. “This is my lifelong dream.”…

Maezawa and his fellow passengers will fly on the BFR, a massive launch vehicle capable of carrying several passengers, which SpaceX hopes will someday carry people to Mars. (Some SpaceX officials refer to the BFR as the Big Falcon Rocket; Musk has sometimes switched out Falcon with an expletive.) The BFR, which Musk first described in 2016, is still under development…

Maezawa is the founder of Zozotown, Japan’s largest online fashion mall. His net worth is $2.9 billion, according to Forbes. He is an avid art collector, and in 2016 he spent $80 million on paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso, two artists he cited as inspirations during Monday’s event.

Maezawa declined to say how much the BFR ride will cost him, but Musk added, “It’s going to be free for the artists.”…

Would’ve been a happier event, at least for Zozotown’s publicity department, if the SpaceX CEO hadn’t just been cited in a defamation case on the very same day. But that coincidence did lead to one of the best PopeHat openers ever…

24 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Jay says:

    Should be fun,

    Steel tariffs and a US Steelworker Strike over CEO gluttony.

    That whole 2020 US Economic collapse just rushed a couple of years forward.

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    Sure they will!

    Exactly right. Musk will get people killed (see SpaceShipTwo) with his recklessness.

    Impress me by keeping Tesla from turning into DeLorean. Then we can talk man in space on a SpaceX rocket.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    It isn’t so much the view of the Moon which will spark art. One can get quite close-up using telescopes. It’s the view of the the full Earth from space.

    @The Dangerman

    The DeLorean was a pretty crappy car. How about the Bricklin as an example instead? Or even the Excalibur?

  5. 5
    Jay says:


    The Bricklin was a pretty crappy car too.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:


    Not as ramshackle a buggy as was the DeLorean.

    The Tucker?


  7. 7
    Jay says:


    Yeah, no, lived in New Brunswick at the time.

    The Bricklin was a POS. You couldn’t open both doors at once with out burning out the motor.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    Gonna go out on a limb and predict Tesla being sold in a few short years, after a critical mass of charging stations has been constructed.

    Even Musk can keep only so many balls in the air at the same time.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:


    Okay, scratch the Bricklin and pencil in the Avanti.


  10. 10
  11. 11
    Jay says:

    The Avanti’s a good car. Solid.


    Hawks were beautiful.

    But what would I know, Datsun 510’s and Pinto’s were my “go to” cars back in the day.

  12. 12

    “If Pablo Picasso had been able to see the moon up-close, what kind of paintings would he have drawn?”

    Cubist craters.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:


    Heh. I drooled over the Datsun 240Z until tried to get in and then out of one.

    Really, really liked my bought new ’72 Mercury Capri. Zippy, comfy and was getting 33 mph highway mileage on the V6 (standard shift).

  14. 14

    @Sister Golden Bear: “Life as a repo man is always intense!”

  15. 15
    sigaba says:

    Sigh, I remember when Alex Pareene used to write like that.

  16. 16
    The Dangerman says:


    The DeLorean was a pretty crappy car.

    Tesla looks like a fine set of cars, no doubt; I just wonder how long before the company goes the way of the DeLorean and goes away. Tesla stock seems like a high flyer for a company that has bigtime problems. Or so I hear.

  17. 17
    Jay says:

    Never have owned a “new” car.

    Raced at Westwood, so cheap was better.

    Had a 1st year Pinto, 1600cc side valve. Upgraded to Formulae Ford. Stock parts shaved and tuned. 160hp. 205 x 14 x 50 tires, fit in the wheel well with the aid of a baseball bat, Mustang II 5 speed.

    Walked away from Corvettes, Mustangs, Firebirds and Comaro’s, and did corners too.

  18. 18
    oatler. says:

    “To Serve Man”

  19. 19
    David Evans says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Then we can talk man in space on a SpaceX rocket.

    Fortunately he can talk it, and do it, without your permission.
    You do know that France, Russia and China are scrambling to catch up with his re-usable first stage techniques?

  20. 20
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    It’s a great time to be a billionaire.

  21. 21
    Luthe says:

    @David Evans: His, or his engineers? Because I seem to recall some discussions of how Musk is the ideas guy but he leaves the pesky “how to make it actually work” parts to others.

  22. 22
    Procopius says:

    @Luthe: Like it was with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniack. One difference is Musk’s engineers are unknown. Wozniack is a real genius, though.

  23. 23
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m pretty sure Elon himself is going to crash and burn at some point. He seems to be a new Steve Jobs Mk1: I see the same tremendous force of personality that Jobs had, the ability to identify tech goals and motivate some very smart people to amazing accomplishments. But I also see a wilful blindness to his own limitations: Elon, like the younger Jobs, has never quite failed, so far, and thinks he never will. He sees Vernon Unsworth as an uppity little man who will not recognise his greatness and deserves to be insulted. And like Clint Eastwood said, a man’s got to know his limitations.

  24. 24
    PenAndKey says:

    @Procopius: exactly. When it comes to SpaceX Musk, as near as I can tell, is more Howard Hughes than lead designer. I trust the SpaceX team to pull it off because they have a solid track record of pulling off exactly what they claim. Musk? He’s Popehat’s opening line, and he’s heading for a massive burnout.

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