A Japanese fashion tycoon has put out a call for eight people from across the globe to join him on a private expedition to the moon.
Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa paid an unknown sum of money in 2018 for seats on the lunar spaceship being developed by SpaceX, which is expected to launch in 2023 at the very earliest. If successful, the trip will be the first made to the moon since the last US Apollo mission in 1972.
Originally, Maezawa said the extra seats he purchased would be given to six or eight artists, who would join him as the spaceship took its voyage around the moon.
However, on a video posted to his Twitter account on 3 February, he stated that he was now simply looking for eight people from "all around the world" to join him on his "mission". The ship is expected to orbit around the moon before coming back to Earth.
“I have bought all the seats, so it will be a private ride,” he said.
How to apply
Maezawa said that his updated requirements had been updated because he wanted to believe that “every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist".
Those interested will have to meet just two criteria - being ready to "push the envelope" creatively, and able to help others on board to the same.
Anyone keen to join Maezawa on his lunar mission will have to pre-register their interest by 14 March. Screenings of applicants will take place on 21 March.
Registration can be completed on Maezawa's website. You'll need to submit basic details and a photograph, at this stage.
It's not clear when the next stages will have to be completed, but the final interviews and medical check-ups are currently pencilled in for late May 2021.
Applicants may be put off, however, by some of SpaceX's recent mishaps. A prototype of its Starship crashed last month in a fireball. The prototype before this had also met a similar fate.
Maezawa is known for his eccentricity, having previously put out a call for a girlfriend to join him on a space mission, only to cancel the proposition after 30,000 people applied.