Yusaku Maezawa Selling Most of His Company and He Will Focus on Training for SpaceX Moon Mission

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa plans to sell a 30% stake in his online fashion-retail company, Zozo, and he will get $2.3 billion.

Yusaku Maezawa

49 thoughts on “Yusaku Maezawa Selling Most of His Company and He Will Focus on Training for SpaceX Moon Mission”

  1. Actually, the Jews have the highest average IQ by ethnicity. Also, Asian is a poorly defined ethnicity. Technically, Russians are Asians as are Central Asians. Add those groups in and that IQ takes a hit. “Studies have generally found Ashkenazi Jews to have an average IQ in the range of 107 to 115, and Ashkenazi Jews as a group have had successes in intellectual fields far out of proportion to their numbers.” -Wiki

  2. Rocket engines follow the 80/20 rule. Turning a 1/3-sized Raptor into a production system with the needed performance, reliability, and durability is still about as hard as doing the production full-sized Raptor.

    I’m not saying you can’t do it. I’m just saying that SpaceX is unlikely to spend the money if they don’t have to.

    Hmm–here’s an idea: They could use modified SuperDracos pretty easily. I’ll bet that three SD packs, along with decent-sized MMH/NTO tanks could replace three of the lower payload compartments, which are designed to be removable as you add vacuum Raptors. That would be about 460 kN, throttlable down to 93 kN. You don’t need much prop, because you can ride most of the way down on the Raptors, using the SDs only for hover and terminal maneuvering.

    I kinda like this.

  3. Hey, keep living in your private little world of denial. The rest of the universe will just move on without ya. Cheers.

  4. Um.. They’ve been building two of the darn things out in the open for anyone to see for the past year in Boca Chica TX and Cocoa FL.

    Anyone who drives by there can see those 40-meter-tall hull structures being built. Sure, they “don’t exist.”

    SpaceX is using conventional stainless steel fabrication techniques to build the Starship hull structures, which is simple enough that water tank workers can do it. Outdoors. The company SpaceX hired to build the Starship hull in Boca Chica TX is Caldwell Tanks. You can even visit their website. https://www.caldwelltanks.com/

    The industrial processes and knowledge for building Staged combustion rocket engines exist. The Russians have been building their staged-combustion rocket engines for years, such as the RD-180. Aerojet Rocketdyne had been building staged-combustion engines like the RS-25 for years. The SpaceX Raptor has been in development for the past 10 year with thousands of seconds of firings on the test stand, and it actually flew in a fully-controlled free flight back in July for the first time, then a second time in August. Yeah, “doesn’t exist.”

    It’s as if you are purposely covering up your eyes “nah I don’t see them building those things out there in the open for anyone to see.” Heh.

    What’s self-evident is that those technologies DO exist. It helps to crawl out from under that rock and look around the world once in a while.

  5. My prediction for the actual #DearMoon CONOPS:

    1) SH/SS launches with no crew.
    2) SS is refueled in LEO (I get 5 tanker launches needed).
    3) Crew launches on an F9/D2 and transfers to SS in LEO.
    4) SS does TLI and then actually goes into LLO.
    5) SS does TEI, then a powered insertion back to LEO (no aerobraking).
    6) Crew transfers back to on-orbit D2 and reenters in it.
    7) SS does EDL uncrewed.

    This is a better mission (you get actual time in lunar orbit, rather than just a flyby) and it’s a much, much safer mission (no non-abortable launch or EDL risk). It does require that refueling tech is in place before you go, but my guess is that’s nothing compared to the crew module and risk management stuff.

  6. And what would these two smaller engines be? How would they fit into the Starship thrust structure? You’re talking about a lot of work that hasn’t been scheduled.

    That said, there’d be a lot of uses for a deep-throttling 300 kN methalox vacuum engine. Lots of very efficient (i.e. low structural coefficient) transfer tugs and landers would be enabled by such an engine. I’m just not sure that SpaceX is interested in going after that market.

    Note that this is exactly what Blue Origin is going after with the BE-7.

  7. Dry mass: 85 t.
    Payload: 150 t.
    Delta-v for LS-to-TEI-to-Landing: 3380 m/s
    Isp: 380 s
    Prop needed to return with a 10 t crew module: 140 t

    Gross Landing Mass: 85 + 150 + 140 = 375 t.
    Lunar weight with lunar-g = 1.62 m/s^2: 608 kN

    Thrust of one Raptor-SL: ~ 1900 kN
    T/W: 3.1
    Throttle needed to hover (i.e., T/W=1): 32%

    So things aren’t great.

    The big question is whether you can do a “hoverslam”, i.e., land with positive upward xxxthrustxxx acceleration, as the F9 core does on recovery, on an unprepared lunar surface, obscured by by clouds of regolith, with few navigation aids.

  8. You still have not named one single technology being used to build starship that “doesn’t exist.” Sorry, you aren’t getting off the hook that easily.

    The reason why SpaceX is able to move so quickly to build the Starship prototypes is precisely because they decided NOT to use new technology like carbon fiber tanks which they were originally thinking of doing, when they realized that existing, simpler technology like stainless steel can do just as good a job.

    That is the reason why SpaceX already filed the FAA and FCC paperwork to start test-flying the Starship prototypes, barely just 1 year after they started building them.

    Of course a circumlunar flight in 2023 is not assured. Schedule slips in spaceflight is the norm, not the exception. Nonetheless there is absolutely nothing wrong with Maezawa helping to fund R&D– Who says only NASA is allowed to do that? And if he gets his circumlunar trip, be it in 2023 or delayed for 10 years to 2033, his funding still helps push things forward, and that’s a good thing.

  9. (Edit: The current Yusaku trip doesn’t involve landing, it will just circle the Moon in orbit and then return. Throttling is not an issue for that mission plan.)

    Well, as I understand it, the current plans for a Starship to Moon (landing!) trip, (Such as they are.) involve doing a burn to put the Starship in a highly eliptical orbit, and then refueling it there, to reduce the fuel load to reach the Moon with enough delta v left for a return trip with minimal payload. But, of course, this implies landing too light for the current throttling range of the Raptor, as well as requiring 9 refueling missions for each lunar mission.

    That’s what originally got me thinking in terms of drop tanks, since once the Starship is in space, a high thrust to weight ratio is no longer needed, and is actually a problem for landing on the Moon. Why not kill two birds with one stone, reducing the Starship’s thrust to weight, and increasing its fuel fraction to up the delta v? The wider landing legs were an afterthought.

    Of course, the drop tank doesn’t actually have to be left on the Moon, but since the most efficient return trajectory goes straight into reentry, instead of stopping in orbit, and an external drop tank couldn’t survive reentry, leaving it on the Moon is the sensible thing to do.

  10. He says “hopefully not needed”, yet he is planning a moon landing.
    Assuming he has not yet bought your super -LM idea, what has he got in mind?

  11. In theory, per a NASA source from several years ago, down to 20%. Per a statement from Musk, earlier this year:

    “Raptor is *very* complex, even for a staged combustion engine. We’re simplifying as much as possible with each iteration. Throttling down to ~50% is hard, but manageable. Going to 25% would be extremely tough, but hopefully not needed.”

    So I tend to think that a mission plan should not rely on throttling past 50%.

  12. NASA is the research organization which job is to fund future research and development projects. The guy is not NASA.

    So what? Maezawa is basically helping fund the Starship R&D, doing the same thing NASA did in the COTS program. There are no laws that says he couldn’t do that.

    Sure. Creating reusable rocket with Starship specifications and cost estimations is “quite mundane”

    Name one technology on Starship that isn’t already in existence.

    The propulsion technology is still chemical rocket propulsion. Already exists. The Raptor is highly refined, but it still works on the same technological basis as any other chemical rocket engine– Burn propellants in a combustion chamber and it produces thrust out a nozzle.

    Retropropulsive landing technology already exists. Proven on McDonnell Douglas DC-X Delta Clipper, and on Falcon 9.

    Steel construction. Already exists.

    SpaceX is refining / re-combining those existing technologies into a new form. There is nothing super exotic there such as a warp drive.

    Again, I challenge you to name even just one technology used to build Starship that “doesn’t exist.”

  13. “Wouldn’t it be little premature to buy a ticket on ship which does not even exist ?  Build on tech which does not exist either…”

    That’s what NASA did when it competitively awarded the Commercial Orbital Transportation System contracts to SpaceX and Orbital ATK back in 2008. It paid for 3 trips apiece to the International Space Station on two rockets and capsules that didn’t exist back then (SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.0 and Cargo Dragon 1, and Orbital ATK Antares rocket and Cygnus capsule). The competitively-bid-and-awarded Firm-Fixed-Price contracts helped pay for development of those two vehicles.

    All of the technology that went into building Starship is existing technology which is quite mundane. Steel construction that even a water tank worker can perform, out in the open. The propulsion technology in Starship is good ol’ chemical rocket propulsion that has been around since the days of Robert Goddard, albeit much more refined, but the basic operating principles hasn’t changed. You burn propellants in a combustion chamber and it produces thrust out a nozzle to push you forward. The math that governs Starship’s flight is still the same rocket equation worked out by the Russian mathematician Konstantin Tsiolkovsky 116 years ago in 1903.

    Not sure where you get the idea that the technology behind Starship “does not exist.” Maybe you just need to read more and see what’s been going on out there in the world.

  14. We will find out in 11 days from now. Can’t wait for Elon Musk’s Starship update event coming up on September 28!

    At this point all the number crunching we are doing in regards to vehicle dry mass, fuel mass, Raptor throttle range etc. are all likely on outdated data. We can see that the Starship prototypes being built out in the open are a lot bigger than the CF version proposed at IAC 2017. I’m guessing the dry mass, payload and fuel capacities will be significantly different than what was mentioned by Elon before.

  15. Your understanding of what is presented to you is as always originating from a singular point of view and materialistically dumb.

  16. Since Methane cannot be produced on the Moon to refuel a Starship, any Starship that lands on the Moon must have enough fuel in its tanks to get back to Earth.

    The delta-v required to get back to Low Earth Orbit from the Lunar Surface is 2.7 km/s. Which translates to about 170 tons of fuel needed to launch an empty Starship from the Lunar surface to get back to LEO assuming an isp of 380 sec for the Raptor.

    So landing a full Starship with 100 tons of payload + 80 tons dry mass + 170 tons of return fuel = 350 tons. A single Raptor will need to be able to throttle down to 30% thrust to land that 350-ton total mass onto the lunar surface at 1/6 gravity.

  17. Only some repressed Americans who have been programmed to deep political correctness would see racism in my comment. I have made a quite known healthy and honest observation that a certain trait characterizes East Asians and is common amongst them but nowhere have I said that they all share it. In the final analysis every person should be judged in his own terms.

  18. And I would bet that very wide landing gear, together with a very long
    booster, will be the more important updates of September presentation,
    your “optional” proposal to become standard on all models except u
    don’t leave the legs on the moon. To tell the truth, there is not much
    need to take something from the moon, at least for now.

  19. Further, I am not so sure that raptor has more thrust than Starship moon
    weight. 200 ton starship+cargo, 50 tons of fuel are enough to weigh more
    than a 1/5 throttled down raptor, or am I missing something?

  20. It does, but in turn it would dramatically increase the payload to the lunar surface and back, as well as increasing the tolerance against tipping on uneven surfaces. And since you could mount it to the inter-stage hard points, and the Starship is intended to have in space refueling capacity anyway, it allows you to land the Starship without it having to be modified in any way.

  21. More of an “artist” than an artist. And I understand there’s more to him giving up control: he made some very bad business decisions and is essentially being pushed out.

  22. Isn´t he an artist that became filthy rich?

    The company probably became a burden to his artistic lifestyle.

    Even if for some reason the trip never happens, I would guess he wouldn´t be sad that he sold his stake at the company. He will have full time dedication to his artistic endeavours and plenty of money for it.

  23. Don’t push THAT button.
    Don’t push THAT OTHER button.
    Never push the RED button.
    Don’t eat anything within 2 days so no 1 or 2
    Don’t open the escape hatch.
    Smile and praise Musk if you make it back.

  24. I think that it would be simpler to replace one raptor with two smaller
    engines, of which one would be used for landing, the other as backup.
    I think that what you propose requires a complex assembly in orbit.

  25. The problem with the current Starship design for landing on the Moon, is that one engine’s thrust at minimum throttle is too high relative to your ship’s weight in lunar gravity, since you’re landing with a largely depleted tank. You’d have to “hover slam” like the landing boosters do, which is kind of dicey on an unprepared surface without beacons, where you might have to make a last second decision to land somewhere else.

    My suggestion for dealing with this is to outfit the Starship with an extended landing cradle that acts as a combination of wider landing gear and external drop tank. (It would be attached to the same hard points used for inter-stage mounting.) This would raise the landing weight enough to have margin for hovering in place, allow you to establish a good engine start before taking off just as on a normal takeoff, and with the drop tank fuel being used for the landing, then left behind on takeoff, you’d have plenty of fuel to leave the Moon loaded down with samples.

    Basically your Starship would function as a propulsion and ascent module for your lander, which would be left on the Moon to function as the start of a Moon base.

  26. Instead of space suits, I think they should all get dressed up like their favorite anime characters for there trip around the moon

  27. Okay then, who are you? How much money do you make? What job do you have? Whose life have you bettered with your attacks? You are worthless and nobody would remember your name!

  28. He is not a racist, I am a racist. the Asians have the highest average IQ on this planet, fact. I think Kimhi is a bit on the left side of that bell curve.

  29. Isn’t he paying for a trip around the Moon, not a landing?

    And I’m persuaded that the Starship, to safely land on the Moon, will require modifications to lower its thrust to weight ratio, and increase the width of its landing gear to cope with uneven surfaces.

  30. Pay no attention to bellow.  Just some payed Russian trolls trying to stir up racial conflict.  That is what Putin pays them for.  Lowest of the low make living this way.

  31. Another Asian Idiot that has a need to become an adherent of someone that has shown a little bit of abilities. The real work when someone is managing to break through is to open the door for many others, as fast as possible.

Comments are closed.