Japanese billionaire seeks fellow travelers for moon mission, travel expenses paid

Interested parties must meet two criteria: they must use their space flight to advance their own field of work and society as a whole, and they must support other crew members with similar motives.

Maezawa has already made an appeal for a travel companion. Last year, he launched a plan to look for a new girlfriend on a TV show to join the moon flight. Nearly 28,000 applications were filed before the billionaire called off the search because he had “mixed feelings” about it.

Maezawa’s video also features Elon Musk confirming that his first lunar flight passenger wants to give “artists and others” a place on board. “He wants to make this exciting and inspiring for the whole world.”

Prototypes

Some space experts doubt whether a moon flight with people on board is feasible in two years. Starship is currently under development at a test facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

SpaceX is constantly building prototypes to test the flight characteristics of the revolutionary spaceship. Last year, two of those prototypes (SN5 and SN6) managed to take off to a height of 150 meters and land safely again.

In subsequent tests with SN8 and SN9, the rocket reached more than 10 kilometers and a major skydive maneuver was successfully attempted. But both times it went wrong on landing. The test spacecraft came down incorrectly due to various causes and exploded. There is now, possibly as early as today, a new test with SN10 on the program.

In Maezawa’s video, Elon Musk says he believes Starship will be in orbit “many times” before 2023.

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