The first civilian flight to the moon is planned for 2023. A Starship rocket developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX will make a week-long journey to the Moon and back.
Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, has purchased all of the seats and titled his project dearMoon. To give as many talented individuals as possible the opportunity to go, on March 2, 2021, he announced plans to choose eight crew members from around the world to fill out a total crew of 10 to 12.
The flight will circumnavigate the moon on a free return trajectory that will send it back to Earth. The flight will essentially duplicate the flight of Apollo 8, commanded by Frank Borman during the Christmas holidays in 1968.
Maezawa has only two initial conditions for his potential crewmates. First, he requires that by going into space you should help other people and greater society in some way. Second, candidates must be willing and able to support other crew members who share similar aspirations.
Maezawa and Musk explain the reasons for undertaking this mission in the video below.
Maezawa had planned to fly a group of artists to the Moon, but he seems to have changed his mind. The application merely asks for name, country, and email address. Selections will be finalized in June 2021. Astronaut candidates must apply online here.
The odds of being selected are slim to none but all who apply will receive an email about the selection process and a crew candidate certificate showing they were in the running for being selected for a flight to the Moon and back.
I think I’ll “apply” just to see what the process is and to get one of those cool certificates. Are there anymore potential rocket people out there?