It is an extraordinary opportunity.
An eccentric Japanese billionaire offers eight tickets to people around the world to accompany him on a space tourism trip around the Moon, scheduled for 2023 with SpaceX, a company of the American Elon Musk specializing in the space field.
Yusaku Maezawa, online fashion mogul, contemporary art collector and patron, was the first private customer to book a flight aboard Starship.
This future habitable rocket is being developed by SpaceX for an undisclosed amount.
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Initially, Yusaku Maezawa planned to find a girlfriend for his flight around the Moon, by launching a strange contest with "single women aged 20 and over".
After attracting nearly 30,000 applications, he finally changed his plans, saying he wanted to invite six to eight artists instead.
In a video posted Wednesday on his Twitter account, the 45-year-old billionaire opted for a broader recruitment policy, saying he now believes that "everyone who does something creative can be called an artist."
“I invite you to join me on this mission.
Eight of you from all over the world, ”he said.
“I bought all the seats so it will be a private trip.
- 前 澤 友 作 ┃ 月 旅行 に 8 名 ご 招待 (@ yousuck2020) March 2, 2021
Applicants will only need to meet two criteria.
It will require being willing to “push the limits” of creativity and be willing to help other crew members to do the same.
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In all, about 10 to 12 people are expected to participate in the expedition that is supposed to circle the moon before returning to Earth.
The calendar calls for aspiring astronauts to pre-register by March 14.
A first selection must be made a week later, according to the website dedicated to the operation, Dearmoon.
No deadline is given for the next steps, a “mission” and an online discussion, but final interviews and medical exams are scheduled for the end of May this year.
Elon Musk is "very confident"
Yusaku Maezawa and his companions will become the first lunar travelers since the last American Apollo mission in 1972, at least if SpaceX is able to complete this project on time.
Two prototypes of his Starship rocket have crashed on landing in recent months.
“I am very confident that we will reach the orbital level with Starship before 2023 and that the safety will be sufficient for human flight in 2023. It is very promising,” Elon Musk said in Yusaku Maezawa's video.
SpaceX plans to launch its first space tourism mission for the fourth quarter of 2021. It will target low Earth orbit.
This mission, called Inspiration4, will be carried out using the reusable Falcon 9 space launcher and SpaceX's Crew Dragon space vehicle, already used by NASA, the US Space Agency.
It will host the American billionaire Jared Isaacman, who also offered three seats at his side.
Her first elected, announced at the end of February, is a 29-year-old American survivor of pediatric cancer.