Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has invited the public to apply for one of the seats on his private mission to the moon abroad SpaceX's Starship

Ever dreamt of a trip to the moon? Now's your chance to make it a reality. The dearMoon project led by Japanese billionaire, Yusaku Maezawa, is opening a worldwide application process for eight civilians to join a week-long lunar expedition on SpaceX's Starship in 2023. The private mission is funded entirely by Maezawa who also purchased all the seats abroad the spacecraft due to his "curiosity and desire to see and appreciate Earth from afar".

"I began to think, every single person who is doing something creative with their lives, aren't they all artists? In that sense, I wanted my invitation to reach out to a broader community and give more people from around the globe the chance to join this journey. If you see yourself as an artist, then you are an artist," says Maezawa during a video announcement of the application process.

Eight seats are up for grabs with pre-registration already underway until March 14. The next phase will be an initial screening until March 21, followed by an "assignment", an online interview and another final interview together with a medical check-up sometime in May 2021. The full flight plan can be viewed on dearMoon's website.

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While Maezawa said that he wants "people from all kinds of backgrounds to join", the aspiring crew members must fulfil two main criteria. Firstly, they must be able to demonstrate a potential for individual growth from the mission and must ensure their experience brings future value for the world through societal contributions that will "benefit humankind for generations" to come. They must also be able to support crew members who "have the same potential and vision to broad the ship". 

These criteria are rooted in Maezawa's interests who is an avid art collector who "hopes for world peace" and calls the potential crew members "artists" who will be "asked to create something after they return to Earth, and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us". The spacecraft set to bring Maezawa and the rest of the crew is Starship, described as SpaceX's "next-generation" equipped with a fully reusable Mars rocket system. So far, only early versions of the rocket have been tested, all of which have ended in explosions upon landing.

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Above Watch the video announcement about the application

Last year, Maezawa made headlines when he launched a campaign to search for a "female partner" to join his lunar mission. A whooping 27,722 applications were received and AbemaTV, a Japanese streaming service, was set to document the mission as a reality TV show called Full Moon Lovers. But a few weeks later, Maezawa called off the application for "personal reasons" and the show was subsequently cancelled.

The billionaire founded Japan's largest online fashion retailer, Zozotown which is now worth US$10 billion while Maezawa is worth about US$2 billion. Despite stepping down as CEO in 2019 after selling the company to Softbank Group, Maezawa is still an entrepreneur, investing in 13 different businesses as well as running various charity projects.

To apply for a seat on Starship, please visit the official website. For more information about the mission, please visit dearMoon's official website.

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