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Billionaire offers 8 free seats on flight around moon

Web Report/Tokyo
Filed on March 3, 2021 | Last updated on March 19, 2021 at 03.11 pm
SpaceX Crew-2 astronaut Thomas Pesquet training at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas ahead of the International Space Station mission. Photo: AFP

Japanese billionaire offers 8 free seats, deadline to pre-register is March 21.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is offering eight people from around the world free seats aboard SpaceX’s lunar spaceship.

Listen to this story and more on 8@8 with David Light

In a video posted to his Twitter on Wednesday, the 45-year-old online fashion tycoon explained that he had bought eight out of the 12 seats on board and invited applicants from all around the world to join him on the mission.

Also watch: See this video to know about the selection process.

Maezawa said applicants would need to fulfil just two criteria: being ready to creatively "push the envelope" and being willing to help other crew members do the same.

According to NDTV, the application calls for would-be space travellers to pre-register by March 14, with initial screening carried out by March 21.

No deadlines are mentioned for the stages after -- an 'assignment' and an online interview - but final interviews and medical check-ups are currently scheduled for late May 2021, according to Maezawa's website.

The billionaire had originally planned to take six to eight ‘artists’ with him but has since claimed to have broadened his definition of what an ‘artist’ is.

Maezawa made headlines in 2013 when he became the first person to purchase a seat aboard SpaceX’s lunar mission.

SpaceX is scheduled for launch in 2023 at the earliest and, if successful, will be the world’s first lunar mission since NASA’s Apollo mission in 1972 that first put humans on the moon.

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