“ Eight crew members asked! For the lunar mission in 2023!” , is written in large letters on a website of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. He wants to take his travel companions on SpaceXs first manned flight around the moon. “People from all kinds of backgrounds are welcome,” says Maezawa in a video on the site. He promises to take care of all costs.
Spacex top man Elon Musk announced in 2018 that the Japanese entrepreneur, who has amassed his fortune with the fashion brand Zozo, will make the first lunar flight with Starship. That spacecraft is now being developed in Texas. How much Maezawa paid for his flight is unknown. According to Musk, its about “a lot of money”.
The Japanese billionaire initially said he wanted to take “artists” on the run. Now he comes back from that. “I want to give people from all over the world the chance to join us on this journey,” he says. “When you see yourself as an artist, youre an artist.”
There will be a total of ten to twelve people on the run, expect Maezawa. The call only applies to eight places on board.
The video with the call of Maezawa:
Interested parties must meet two criteria: they must use their space flight to advance their own field of activity and society as a whole, and they must support other crew members with the same motives.
Maezawa made a call before for a travel companion. Last year, he launched the plan to go on a TV show in search of a new girlfriend who would join us on the lunar flight. Almost 28,000 applications came in before the billionaire blew off the search because he had “mixed feelings” about it.
Maezawas video also shows Elon Musk, who confirms that his first lunar flight passenger wants to give “artists and others” a place on board. “He wants to make this exciting and inspiring for the whole world.”
Some space experts doubt whether a lunar flight with people on board will be feasible in two years. Starship is currently under development at a test facility in Boca Chica, Texas.
SpaceX builds prototypes on the conveyor belt to test the flight characteristics of the revolutionary spaceship. Last year two of these prototypes (SN5 and SN6) were able to take off to a height of 150 meters and land safely again.
In subsequent tests with SN8 and SN9, the rocket reached more than 10 kilometers high and an important skydiving maneuver was successfully tried. But both times it went wrong at the landing. The test spacecraft came down wrong due to various causes and exploded. There is now, possibly already today, a new test on the program with SN10.
In Maezawas video, Elon Musk assumes that Starship will be “many times” in orbit before 2023.