The 42-year-old will be the first lunar traveler since the last US Apollo mission in 1972 AFP / DAVID MCNEW

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon, will be the first man to fly on a monster SpaceX rocket around the Moon as early as 2023.

It was also learned that Maezawa plans to bring six to eight artists along.

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The 42-year-old will be the first lunar traveler since the last US Apollo mission in 1972. He paid an unspecified amount of money for the privilege, reports say.

“Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the Moon,” Maezawa said at SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory in Hawthorne, California on Monday. “This is my lifelong dream.”

The Japanese billionaire is chief executive of Japan’s largest online fashion mall, and is the 18th richest person in Japan with a fortune of $3 billion, according to the business magazine Forbes.

Maezawa’s other hobby is amassing valuable works of modern art and last year, he announced the acquisition of a Jean-Michel Basquiat masterpiece worth $110.5 million.

His love of art led him to decide to invite artists to come along, he said.

“I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the Moon,” Maezawa said.