To the Moon and back! Japanese billionaire to take eight people from across the world on SpaceX lunar expedition

By: |
March 04, 2021 3:42 PM

Yusaku announced that the application for the trip would now be opened to everyone across the world.

If successful, the mission would mark the first private mission to leave the orbit of the Earth. (File image: Reuters via IE)

SpaceX lunar expedition: Elon Musk’s SpaceX is planning to send a manned mission on a lunar expedition no earlier than 2023, and a rare opportunity has opened up for science enthusiasts around the world. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa had in 2018 become the first person to have booked a spot on Musk’s lunar expedition spacecraft after paying an undisclosed amount of money. He had then announced that he would take with him six to eight artists on the voyage. However, taking to his Twitter account on Wednesday, Yusaku announced that the application for the trip would now be opened to everyone across the world.

All the seats in the spacecraft have been purchased by Yusaku, who said that he changed his plans of inviting artists only because he now believes that every person who creates something is an artist.

As per the 45-year-old billionaire, the applicants would have to fulfil two criteria – willingness to push the envelope creatively, and also helping other crew members do the same. A total of 10 to 12 people would be aboard the spacecraft, he added.

Interested applicants would need to fill the application by March 14, and initial screening would be done by March 21. However, the next stages would include an assignment as well as an online interview, but the timeline for these stages has not yet been announced.

If SpaceX is successfully able to send Starship to space, the lunar voyage carried out by Yuskau and his chosen crewmates would make them the first lunar voyagers since 1972, when US’ Apollo 17 took astronauts to the Moon.

However, whether SpaceX would be able to achieve that is still unknown, considering the fact that two test flights of Starship have resulted in crash landings and the third one, which took place on Thursday, led to the Starship landing safely on the pad and then promptly exploding. However, Musk is hopeful. Appearing in Yusaku’s video, Elon Musk said that he was confident that by the time 2023 came around, Starship would have reached the orbit several times, and would be safe for people to travel in.

Notably, SpaceX’s Starship voyage would not land on the Moon, but would just orbit it before returning to Earth. If successful, the mission would mark the first private mission to leave the orbit of the Earth.

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