In 2023, if all goes to plan, Elon Musk will send SpaceX’s yet to be built BFG spacecraft (Big Falcon Rocket) around the moon with its first paying passenger. After the initial announcement, Musk has added that he intends to live-stream the moon mission in high definition virtual reality.
Moon mission will be livestreamed in high def VR, so it’ll feel like you’re there in real-time minus a few seconds for speed of light
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 18, 2018
Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, a 42-year-old online retailing billionaire, has booked a seat for himself and six artists who he will ask to create art works based on their experiences. How much Maezawa paid SpaceX is unknown, but Musk did say that his payment would make a significant contribution to development costs of the BFG.
The mission sounds intriguing enough, but adding VR into the mix is a brilliant idea. By 2023, VR equipment is likely to be massively improved compared to what we are using today. What better way to allow others back on Earth to join in?
If successful, this will be the first time a human has been anywhere near the moon since Nasa’s final Apollo 17 mission on 7 December 1972.
As Elon Musk admitted, like many of his announcements, given the technical challenges, the 2023 deadline is not set in stone.
When and if they launch, I’ll be there with a VR headset at the ready.