After teasing the possibility of flying to the Moon for free in September 2018, SpaceX and Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa have unveiled the details of how people can apply for a free trip to the Moon in 2023. In December, SpaceX successfully launched a Starship test rocket from a spaceport they’ve constructed south of South Padre Island, Texas. SpaceX continues to test this spacecraft and plans to use it to launch people into space in the coming years.
In 2018, SpaceX’s Elon Musk announced that Yusaku Maezawa would be the first person to travel around the moon onboard the new Starship rocket. Founder of Japanese fashion label Zozo, Maezawa says he thought long and hard prior to committing to not only purchasing a seat on the flight, but the entire cabin of the new rocket. “Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the moon….it continues to inspire humanity,” Maezawa said.
To get others to share his inspiration and vision, he is inviting 8 others to join him for the journey around the Moon. Initially, Maezawa said he wanted “artists” to join him on the journey to the Moon. In 2018, SpaceX said possible passengers could include film directors, painters, dancers, novelists, musicians, fashion designers, sculptors, photographers, or architects. But in an updated website this week, the invitation is broadened by saying they want to “give as many talented individuals as possible the opportunity to go.”
Maezawa, 42, is a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur and art collector. He founded Start Today in 1998 and launched the online fashion retail website Zozotown, now Japan’s largest, in 2004. Most recently, Maezawa introduced a custom-fit apparel brand ZOZO and at-home measurement system, the ZOZOSUIT, in 2018. Forbes estimated his net worth in 2018 to be $3.6billion, making him the 14th wealthiest person in Japan at the time of the rocket ride purchase. Forbes believes his net worth today is around $2.2 billion, perhaps indicated the amount he has invested into SpaceX to make this Moon mission happen.
Musk said this will be a risky trip. “This is dangerous. This is no walk in the park. It’ll take a lot of training. There’s no guarantee. It’s not a sure thing. It’s not like taking an air trip anywhere. But something could go wrong. ”
Known as the “dearMoon” endeavor, potential crew are required to pre-register on the dearMoon.earth website by 6:59pm PST on March 14. All people that complete the basic online profile will receive a crew candidate certificate featuring their country and country flag. The form is here: https://dearmoon.earth/pre-reg.html.