Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has invited eight people to join him for a free Moon voyage on SpaceX Starship rocket sometime in 2023.
In a video, Maezawa who is the founder of Japan’s largest online fashion retailer Zozotown, said that he wants people from all backgrounds to join.
“It will be 10 to 12 people in all, but I will be inviting 8 people to come along on the ride,” he said in the YouTube video.
The fashion tycoon, 45, was the first private passenger to book a spot on the expedition — for an undisclosed price. Up to 12 people in total are expected to join the mission.
“I will pay for the entire journey. I have bought all the seats, so it will be a private ride,” he said. “I hope that together, we can make it a fun trip.”
Maezawa said he originally planned to invite “artists” to join him, but his idea evolved when he realized that “every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist.”
Maezawa is known for outlandish publicity stunts. In February 2020, he pulled the plug on his high-profile campaign to recruit a soulmate for the moon journey, after receiving applications from nearly 28,000 potential romantic partners.
The rocket for the week-long mission, “Starship,” is currently in development. Earlier this month, an unpiloted test flight of the rocket ended with a spectacular explosion when the rocket failed to right itself and slow down enough for its landing. However, Maezawa said he trusts Musk and SpaceX.
The specifics of the selection criteria remain unclear. The application link asks for basic details before disclosing the admission process.
In his video the entrepreneur said applicants would be judged on their ability to “push the envelope” creatively, and willing to help other crew members do the same.
The mission would mark the first lunar journey by humans since 1972.
“I’m a little scared. But I’m more curious,” he said, expressing full trust in Elon Musk’s technology.
Upon conclusion of the multi-day journey, Dragon will reenter Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.