TOKYO (JAPAN) – Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa who will become the first private passenger on a round trio around the moon has launched a search for eight people to join him on Wednesday launched. The first stage of the application process runs to March 14. He had originally planned to invite artists for the weeklong voyage slated for 2023.
The rejigged project will “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,” Maezawa said.
The entrepreneur, who sold his online fashion business Zozo Inc to SoftBank in 2019, is paying the entire cost of the voyage on SpaceX’s next-generation reusable launch vehicle, dubbed the Starship.
Maezawa is known for his art and supercar collections, and the cash giveaways that have made him Japan’s most-followed Twitter account.
Last year he launched a short-lived documentary search for a new girlfriend to join him on the trip before pulling out citing “mixed feelings.”
Two recent prototypes have exploded during testing, underscoring the risks for Maezawa, 45, and his fellow passengers, who must also contend with the strains of space travel in the first private journey beyond Earth’s orbit.