Japanese billionaire opens SpaceX spacecraft ticket contest

Illustration for the article titled The Japanese Billionaire Who Bought Tickets on SpaceX's Spaceship Announces 8 Seats Up for grabs

Photo: Mario Tama (fake images)

Yusaku Maezawa, the billionaire CEO of Japanese fashion who paid a lot of money to Elon Musk’s SpaceX for the first seats in his Starship spacecraft for a trip around the Moon in 2023, recently teased a big announcement regarding the trip. Mystery solved: Maezawa proclaimed Tuesday that he offers all concerned a shot to join his crew.

The mission, known as dearMoon, will involve 10-12m of crewembers, with eight spaces available for the general public to request through the mission website. Maezawa seems to be aiming for a quick schedule: pre-registration is scheduled for March 14, 2021, and initial evaluations will take place on March 21. The website states that the most successful applicants will receive final interviews and medical checkups by the end of May 2021. Between then and the launch date it will focus on mission training.

The only two qualifications required of applicants are that they “go above and beyond” to improve society and that they will support other crew members who do the same. Expect the remaining crew members to be qualified in some kind of scientific or engineering discipline related to the operation of a spacecraft.

The dearMoon mission is intended to be a dramatic test of the usefulness of Starship, the spacecraft that Musk says will eventually carry SpaceX-backed colonists and up to 100 tons of cargo per trip to the planet Mars, and will act as a demonstration of sorts. for the future. of commercial space flights. It is planned to take about a six-day trip around the moon, which Musk says will be the farthest a human has ever traveled from planet Earth.

Those not selected will receive at least one consolation prize in the form of a promotional image with their face.

Illustration for the article titled The Japanese Billionaire Who Bought Tickets on SpaceX's Spaceship Announces 8 Seats Up for grabs

Graphic: dearMoon / Tom McKay

“What I’m most looking forward to is seeing my home planet, the great blue Earth with my own eyes,” Maezawa said in a promotional video released Tuesday. “And then after coming out of the dark side of the Moon, we may be able to see the ‘exit from Earth.’ Like sunrise, the round shape of the Earth will appear beyond the horizon of the Moon. “

“How will we feel when we experience something so phenomenal?” Maezawa added, saying that his main motivations for taking the flight included satisfying his curiosity, reminding himself how precious the Earth is, and “remembering how small, how insignificant I am. In space I think I will realize how small I am, how much more I have to experiment, how much more I have to work and how much more I have to grow. “

Maezawa is a well-known advertising hound whose lunar ambitions seem to match clothing marketing imperatives, and had previously announced (Y sadly then abandoned) a reality show competition to find a girlfriend willing to fly into space with the. What TechCrunch notedMaezawa’s original plan was to bring in eight artists before he had the epiphany that all creatives are some kind of artist. Therefore, it is reasonable to suspect that the plans for the crew roster could change again, even assuming the ship leaves the ground in 2023 as Musk currently says he will.

Not much news has emerged about the dearMoon project since it started in 2018, although SpaceX has been constantly working on Starship. SpaceX’s SN9 rocket, a prototype of the spacecraft, underwent what the company called “unscheduled quick disassemblyDuring a high-altitude launch test last month, a euphemism for engine problems during landing that led to the ship being destroyed. Another SpaceX prototype, SN8, suffered a similar fate during a test in December 2020. Several previous test models exploded, exploded or collapsed into about themselves before that. The Federal Aviation Administration launched an investigation in the February 2021 incident amid reports that SpaceX had broken safety standards during earlier tests, although later issued a clear whole for the company to launch an SN10 prototype in the days to come.


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