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Japan billionaire recruiting crew members for rocket trip around the moon

Elon Musk. (Suzanne Cordeiro/For the Austin American-Statesman/TNS)
March 06, 2021

Yusaku Maezawa, the billionaire founder and former chief executive of online fashion retailer Zozo Inc., is recruiting eight crew members from all over the world to travel on a moon rocket developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

The 45-year-old entrepreneur announced Wednesday that he is looking for fellow crew members for the voyage scheduled for 2023. If successful, it would be the first lunar travel by people other than professional astronauts.

According to the announcement, the eight crew members will travel with Maezawa aboard the large Starship rocket on a weeklong journey in which they will fly around the moon and then return to Earth. The tycoon will pay all the costs for the voyage.

Pre-registrations are being accepted through March 14 on the official website of the mission, which is titled dearMoon. Applicants will go through initial screenings and online interviews, with the crew members to be chosen in final interviews scheduled for late May.

Maezawa made headlines in 2018 when he bought all the seats aboard the Starship, which the U.S. company was still developing in a bid to lift off in 2023.

“Apply for the mission if you want to use your experience in space to help others or society on Earth, or make a giant step forward in your own creative activities,” Maezawa said.


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