3 Mar 2021

Japanese billionaire seeking 8 people to join him on a SpaceX moon flight

A Japanese billionaire is looking for 8 people to join him on a SpaceX moon flight

Yusaku Maezawa, the online fashion tycoon needs to fill eight spare seats on the lunar spaceship being developed by SpaceX. It’s the sort of chance that comes along just once in a blue moon.

In 2018 it was announced that Yusaku was the first man to book a spot aboard the lunar spaceship being developed by SpaceX. At the time he paid an undisclosed sum for the trip which was expected to launch in 2023 at the earliest.

On Wednesday, in a video posted on his Twitter account, he revealed the application process. “I’m inviting you to join me on this mission. Eight of you from all around the world." “I have bought all the seats, so it will be a private ride,” he added.

The Japanese entrepreneur said applicants would need to fulfil just two criteria: being ready to “push the envelope” creatively, and being willing to help other crew members do the same.

In all, he said around 10 to 12 people will be on board the spaceship, which is expected to loop around the moon before returning to Earth.

The application timeline for spots on the trip calls for would-be space travellers to pre-register by 14 March, with initial screening carried out by 21 March.

No deadlines are given for the next stages – an “assignment” and an online interview – but final interviews and medical checkups are currently scheduled for late May 2021, according to Maezawa’s website.

Maezawa and his band of astronauts will become the first lunar voyagers since the last US Apollo mission in 1972 – if SpaceX can pull the trip off.

Unfortunately though, last month a prototype of its Starship crashed in a fireball as it tried to land upright after a test flight, the second such accident, after the last prototype of the Starship met a similar fate in December.

But the company hopes the reusable, 394-foot (120-metre) rocket system will one day carry crew and cargo to the moon, Mars and beyond.

“I’m highly confident that we will have reached orbit many times with Starship before 2023 and that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023. It’s looking very promising,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk said in Maezawa’s video posted Wednesday.

The mission will be the first private space flight beyond Earth’s orbit, Musk said.

Because it will not land on the moon, but loop behind it, “we expect people will go further than any human has ever gone from planet Earth,” he added.

Maezawa, known for his eccentric comments and extravagant lifestyle including a penchant for pricey art, was last year valued around $1.9 billion, making him one of Japan’s richest people.

He made his fortune as founder of online fashion store Zozo, which he sold to Yahoo! Japan in 2019.

These are the steps to apply for a seat on Starship as part of the dearMoon Project

STEP1: Pre-registration (by March 14th 6:59 AM PST)

STEP2: Initial Screening (by March 21st 6:59 AM PST)

STEP3: Assignment

STEP4: Online Interview

STEP5: Final Interview and Medical Checkup (Late May 2021)

About the dearMoon Project

The first civilian mission to fly by the Moon is planned to take place no earlier than 2023. The Starship rocket developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX will make a week-long journey to the Moon and back. In 2018, Japanese Entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa purchased all the seats aboard this rocket. Wishing to give as many talented individuals as possible the opportunity to go, he announced in March 2021 his plans to choose 8 crew members from across the world. For more information, visit https://dearmoon.earth/.

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