Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has booked a trip aboard SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft. Now, he’s searching for crewmates.
In 2018, entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa purchased all the seats aboard a SpaceX rocket that is due to fly to the moon in 2023.
Now, Maezawa has announced a call for eight members of the general public to apply to join him on the journey to space.
This is due to be the first civilian trip to the moon and the expedition on the SpaceX Starship spacecraft, which is still in development, is set to take about a week.
In a video message released yesterday (2 March), Maezawa said that the crew will be between 10 and 12 people in total but he will be inviting eight people from around the world “to come along for the ride”.
“I will pay for the entire journey,” he said. “I have bought all the seats, so it will be a private ride.”
Maezawa first announced his plan to bring members of the public to space two years ago. At the time, he was looking for artists who would be asked to create something inspirational once they returned to Earth.
However, he said the initial plan has since evolved. “I began to wonder, who do I mean by artists?
“I began to think that maybe every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist.” With this in mind, he has decided to cast the net wider.
Fly me to the moon
There are two criteria crew members must meet in order to be considered by Maezawa. First, he said that he hopes the selected individuals can push the envelope in whatever work they do by going into space.
“Are you satisfied with what you’re doing right now? By going to space could you do something that’s even better, even bigger?”
The second criteria for applicants is that they have to be “willing and able” to support the rest of the crew. Maezawa said these two criteria will be key in selecting the eight crew members.
“I want people from all kinds of backgrounds to join. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. You want to help people and contribute to society. You want to take your creative activity to the next level. If any of this sounds familiar, please join me.”
Elsewhere, SpaceX plans to bring an ‘all-civilian’ mission to space for the first time later this year. The Earth-orbiting mission is expected to take off in Q4 2021 and will be led by pilot and entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who is paying for the Inspiration4 flight and will bring three people with him.