A Japanese entrepreneur is selecting 8 people for the first civilian trip to the moon and you could join the crew

  • A Japanese billionaire is selecting eight people from around the world to join him on a trip to the moon.
  • The 2023 mission is slated to be the first civilian lunar mission on SpaceX’s Starship rocket.
  • Yusaku Maezawa bought all the seats on the rocket in 2018 as part of his #dearMoon mission.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In 2023, a crew of civilian explorers plans to go where few have gone before: past the moon, out of Earth’s orbit, and further than any human has ever traveled from our home planet.

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You could be on that spaceship.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced Tuesday he is selecting eight people from around the globe to join him on his weeklong, all-expenses-paid journey to the moon and back.

In 2018, Maezawa bought all the available seats on Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket, and the two announced the first civilian mission to the moon slated for 2023. Maezawa had originally planned to invite eight artists with him on the journey, but said in an announcement video on Tuesday that his plan had “evolved.”

“Who do I mean by artist?” Maezawa said he asked himself. “The more I thought about it the more ambiguous it became.”

The billionaire said he came to the conclusion that any person doing anything creative could be considered an artist.

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“If you see yourself as an artist, then you’re an artist,” Maezawa said in the video.

There are now only two requirements for joining the crew: First, applicants must be able to advance whatever “activity you are into” by “going to space.” And secondly, selected participants have to be “willing and able to support” the crew “who share similar aspirations.”

Maezawa said the mission will include 10 to 12 people total, including the eight civilians he will select as part of the #dearMoon mission.

“I hope together we can make it a fun trip,” he said. 

Pre-registration for the mission is open until March 14, according to the website. The application process requires a name, country, email address, and profile picture. Next, an initial screening process will begin March 21, followed by final interviews and medical checkups in late May. 

The eight crew members will be chosen at the end of June and training will begin shortly thereafter, the website said. Preparation for the mission will last until “lift off,” scheduled for the first part of 2023. 

Musk’s SpaceX has continued working on the Starship rocket over the past two years, testing prototypes at its Texas facility. The Starship hasn’t reached orbit yet, but the company has successfully launched new Starship prototypes. Now the company is focused on successfully landing them.

In the promotional video released Tuesday, Musk said he was confident the rocket will have reached orbit “many times” by 2023 and will be ready for human transport.

“It’s looking very, very promising,” he said.

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