Yusaku Maezawa is hoping to make the trip with a group of artists in 2023

A Japanese billionaire is to become the first "space tourist" to fly around the moon.

Yusaku Maezawa was introduced by SpaceX's boss Elon Musk at its headquarters in California.

The ex-punk band drummer made his money in online fashion, and is thought to be worth around €2.5 billion.

It's not clear how much Mr Maezawa paid for the opportunity to become the first 'commercial passenger' to fly to the moon.

He's hoping to bring a group of eight artists on the week-long trip with him.

They will fly as close as 200 kilometres to the moon's surface.

Mr Maezawa explained: "I hope that this project will inspire the dreamer within each of us.

"Together with Earth's top artists, I will be heading to the moon... just a little earlier than everyone else."

The planned flight is set to take place on SpaceX's next-generation Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) spacecraft.

However, the craft is not yet complete - with Elon Musk warning that it's not 100% certain it will be finished in time for the planned moon flight.

If it does go ahead as planned, the trip will mark the first manned flight to the moon since 1972.