Astronaut Scott Kelly offers to help Elon Musk with Moon mission

An actual astronaut has suggested he — or any qualified person — may be useful to tech billionaire Elon Musk’s planned round trip to the Moon in 2023.

The Tesla chief announced on Monday that fellow billionaire and art collector, Yusaku Maezawa will become the first “paying customer” on his spaceship, the Big Falcon Rocket, which is being built for a five-day lunar mission in 2023.

But a veteran NASA astronaut of four space flights, Scott Kelly, has made a cheeky offer to the SpaceX team and their billionaire passenger this week.

It came after Maezawa announced on Monday that he had purchased every seat on the BFR and planned to fill it with artists, musicians, novelists and dancers instead of, well, spacefaring scientists.

It’s just a thought, but it might be a good idea if space mogul Musk considered reserving at least one seat on his BFR for someone that could help in practical terms, rather than produce a Haiku on takeoff.

But, who are we to judge?

Kelly, who has a celebrated career in spacefaring having logged 520 days in space before he retired in 2016, took to Twitter the day after the announcement to wished Maezawa and his artsy friends the best of luck on their trip and offered his services for the lunar joy ride.

“Yusaku Maezawa, this will be a great adventure!” Kelly wrote.

“Good luck on your trip and if you need someone with a little experience to go with you, my schedule is wide open in 2023.”

On Monday, Maezawa, an ultra-wealthy Japanese art collector and owner of major online clothing retailer Zozotown, told a crowd of reporters at the SpaceX headquarters in California that he was “honoured” to have been given the opportunity to pay for a ticket to ride the BFR into space.

But, as every billionaire knows, it’s lonely at the top, and it can also get pretty lonely in space, so the 42-year-old clothing mogul also purchased every seat on the spaceship.

“Many of you maybe wondering why do I want to go to the Moon, what do I want to do there and most of all why did I purchase the entire BFR?” Maezawa told the crowd.

“I don’t like being alone so I want to share these experiences with as many people as possible.”

Oh, OK.

“This will contribute to world peace and this is my life long dream,” he added.

Good to hear.

It’s a perfectly reasonable, if not a somewhat cheeky, offer, which was retweeted by Maezawa.

We are yet to hear if the billionaire will kick one of his friends out of the spaceship to offer a real astronaut the seat.

Fingers crossed.

This story originally appeared in news.com.au.