A Japanese billionaire on Wednesday made an announcement asking people from all around the world to sign up for a free ticket to the moon. He asked people to join him in the first civilian lunar mission “dearMoon” aboard the lunar spaceship, being developed by SpaceX.
Set to launch in 2023, project ‘dearMoon’, spearheaded by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Mezawa (MZ) with the help of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, will be the first civilian venture into outer space.
Yusaku Mezawa announced his intentions regarding the project two years ago and now he said he’ll be taking 8 people along with him from around the world to join him aboard the rocket “Starship” currently being developed by SpaceX.
“I have bought all the seats so it’ll be a private ride,” MZ said in a video posted on YouTube. He further states that two years ago, he had invited artists from around the world to come along with him, adding, “That was the initial plan but it has evolved since then.” He goes on to say that he has, since then, redefined by what artists mean and he thinks every single person who does something creative can be called an artist and he wanted to reach out to a wider and more diverse audience.
Criteria for applying
According to MZ, there are two key criteria for applying:
Regarding the first criteria, he said, “Whatever activity you are into, by going into space you can push its envelope to help other people and greater society in some way. I want someone with that kind of potential to take part in this. Are you satisfied with what you are doing right now? By going to space you can do something that even better even bigger? If that sounds like you please join me.”
About the second criteria, MZ said, “You have to be willing to be able to support other crew members who share similar aspirations.”
How safe is it?
SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk, in the same video posted by MZ, says, “What’s really significant about dearMoon mission is that it’ll be the first private spaceflight.” Musk praised MZ for his effort to trying to make this something that is inspiring and exciting for the whole world.
“I’m highly confident that we’ll have reached the orbit many times with starship before 2023. And that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023,” Elon Musk added. He also said that it’ll be “historic, very fun and interesting, inspiring and exciting and great.”
Highest number of applicants from India
Just a day after the announcement, MZ said that 300k applications have poured in from 237 countries. According to a tweet by MZ, the highest number of applications came in from India, followed by the US and Japan.