Japanese billionaire chooses eight people to share his journey to the moon

Japanese billionaire chooses eight people to share his journey to the moon

A Japanese billionaire announced the allocation of eight tickets to people from all over the world to accompany him on a space tourism trip around the moon, which is expected to be organized by "SpaceX" in 2023.

Online fashion mogul and contemporary art collector Yusaku Maezawa was the first private customer to book a seat for an undisclosed amount on the Starship flight, a futuristic manned missile designed by Elon Musk´s US airline.

Maezawa had initially planned to find a girlfriend to accompany him on his journey around the moon, and for this purpose he launched a strange competition dedicated to "single women of 20 years and over." Then he changed his plans after his contest attracted 30,000 female candidates, saying he wanted to invite six to eight artists instead.

In a video posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday, the 45-year-old billionaire finally anchored a broader formula for the selection process, explaining that "everyone who does something creative can be called an artist."

"I invite you to join me on this trip. Eight of you are from all over the world," he said, adding, "I have bought all the seats so it will be a special trip."

Maezawa indicated that about 10 to 12 people are expected to participate in the expedition that is supposed to orbit the moon before returning to Earth.

Those aspiring to participate should submit their applications before March 14, with the first list of eligible candidates selected after a week.

No deadline has been set for the next steps of a "mission" and an online interview, but final interviews and medical exams are scheduled for late May of this year, according to the billionaire´s website.

Maezawa and his companions will become the first travelers to the moon since the last US mission in 1972, "Apollo", if "Space X" can complete this project on time.

In recent months, two prototypes of the Starship missile were destroyed during their landing.

Elon Musk said in Maezawa´s video, "I am very confident that we will reach the orbital plane with Starship before 2023 and that safety will be sufficient for human flight in 2023."

SpaceX plans to launch its first space tourism mission in the fourth quarter of 2021 to lower Earth orbit.

This flight, which has been dubbed "Inspiration 4", will be the first of only "civilians," without any professional astronaut to support them. It will be attended by the young American billionaire Jared Isaacman, who also wanted to involve three other people with him, the first of whom is a 29-year-old girl who survived cancer when she was young, whose name was announced at the end of last February.