• February 4, 2023

Japanese billionaire seeks 8 volunteers for SpaceX flight around the moon

Want to go away? A Japanese billionaire is looking for eight volunteers who can fly with him to the moon on Elon Musk’s spaceship.

“It will take three days to get to the moon, spin behind it and three days to come back,” Yusaku Maezawa said in a video on Tuesday. “I’ll pay for the entire trip.”

Applications are due by March 14th, with initial screenings starting soon after. The final interviews and medical examinations are scheduled to take place by the end of May.

The mission to fly to the moon and back – called DearMoon – is scheduled for 2023 on a SpaceX spacecraft. Although the spacecraft is still in the early stages of testing, Musk is confident that it will be ready in two years. T.The first two Starship test flights ended in explosive crash landings.

Maezawa, an entrepreneur and art collector who started the online fashion store Zozo
3092, -1.62%
– which he sold to SoftBank
9984, + 1.69%
for $ 900 million in 2019 – bought the right to be SpaceX’s first lunar tourist in 2018.

The flight will have a total of 10-12 people, including eight civilians. “I hope we can have a fun trip together,” said Maezawa.

Maezawa’s original plan two years ago was to invite artists on the trip, but that plan has “evolved” since then, he said when he decided that “artist” was too ambiguous a term.

“Every single person who does something creative could be called an artist. That’s why I wanted to reach a wider and more diverse audience.”

Maezawa said there are two main criteria for those who want to fly into space with him: a willingness to push the envelope to create a better society and a willingness to assist others, including crew members, in their endeavors.

“These two criteria will be crucial in selecting the eight crew members,” he said.

In the video, Musk indicated that the mission will be the first commercial spaceflight with humans to go beyond Earth orbit. It will actually go beyond the moon, Musk said. “We expect people to go further than any human from planet earth has ever been before.”

It is unclear how much the Maezawa lunar mission will cost. In 2018, Musk just said it was “a lot of money”. But Maezawa is no stranger to splurging – him spent a record $ 110.5 million on a Basquiat painting in an auction in 2017 and admitted Lose $ 41 million in day trading in 2020.

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