As I wrote two days ago, Yusaku Maezawa bought all of the seats on a SpaceX Starship flight that will circle the Moon once and return to Earth sometime in 2023. On March 2, 2021, Maezawa began accepting applications from anyone interested in being part of the crew and getting a free trip to the Moon.
So far, Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship program has not been able to demonstrate the ability to pull off the mission. All tests of the Starship’s capability to land upright have failed. The last test on March 3, 2021, was partially successful. For the first time, the Starship landed in a semi upright position but exploded a few minutes later.
That doesn’t mean they can’t work out the kinks. Failures are not uncommon in testing new space transportation systems.
Maezawa’s initial requirements for being part of the crew are that by going into space you should help other people and greater society in some way and be willing and able to support other crew members who share similar aspirations. I think I (and just about everyone else) meet those requirements.
I took the first step by preregistering to be considered for the flight and received this neat little memento.
I can now say I was in the running to be selected for a flight to the Moon! 🚀😄🤣
In spite of the overwhelming response Maezawa’s ad no doubt received, coming up with suitable volunteers may not be so easy. Filling eight crew positions will require selecting a lot more than eight candidates. Participating in the mission is a full-time, long-term commitment. Training will take months, and the launch could easily be delayed for months or years. NASA missions always have back-up crews for contingencies such as illness, accidents and other eventualities. The candidates are volunteers, and some who are selected will back out for a variety of reasons.
The e-mail acknowledging my preregistration states that further information on the selection process will be provided sometime after March 15, 2021. I’m anxious to see the process even though age is likely an immediate disqualification. Still, a chance at a free flight to the Moon is hard to pass up. Figuring out a way to earn frequent flyer miles would be icing on the cake.