Elon Musk and Yusaku Maezawa discuss dearMoon project

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Japanese online fashion businessman billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will become the first person to fly commercially to the Moon in 2023. Mr Maezawa will be on board Elon Musk’s Starship, as created by SpaceX, when he travels to the Moon, as first announced in 2018. However, the fashion tycoon has now invited members of the public to apply to go with him.

The 45-year old said in a video uploaded to YouTube: “I’m inviting you to join me on this mission.

“I have bought all the seats, so it will be a private ride.

“I want people from all kinds of backgrounds to join.

“It will take three days to get to the moon, loop behind it, and three days to get back.

“I hope that together we can make it a fun trip.”

Mr Maezawa also posted a link which included application details.

Anyone interested must apply before March 14, with the first batch of screenings to take place just a week later on March 21.

When the plans were first announced in 2018, the businessman said he wanted to take eight artists with him in the mission called dearMoon.

However, he has now said that has “evolved” as “every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist”.

Including pilots and technical staff, there will be a total of 10 to 12 people on board the Starship.

Mr Maezawa said there are two key criteria for those wanting to join him on his voyage.

He wants people who have ambitions to create a better society, as well as people who have a willingness to support others.

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The billionaire added: “Those two criteria will be key in selecting the eight crew members.”

SpaceX is still in the testing phase of the Starship development, but Mr Musk, who joined the video, said that by 2023 it will be fully operational.

Mr Musk said: “I’m highly confident that we will have reached orbit many times with Starship before 2023 and that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023.

“It’s looking very promising.”

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