Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa announced today, March 3rd, 2021, that he is recruiting eight passengers from around the world to join what is planned to be the world's first civilian mission to orbit the moon. Christened "dearMoon," the mission will be conducted on the "Starship" rocket being developed by Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX.

Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa | © PR Times, Inc.

The dearMoon project was launched in 2018 when the Japanese millionaire acquired the rights to all passenger seats on the SpaceX mission for launch in 2023. In accordance with Maezawa's wish to "open up the chance to go to space to as many people as possible and to a diverse group of people," dearMoon is now inviting applications from all over the world for eight crew members to travel with him on this historic mission.

Application process

To apply, submit your entry here (Japanese)

  • STEP 1: Pre-registration - 3/14 (Deadline: 23:59 Japan time) All pre-registered applicants will proceed to STEP 2!
  • STEP 2: Preliminary screening based on basic applicant information - 3/21 (Deadline: 23:59 Japan time)
  • STEP 3: In-depth screening based on responses
  • STEP 4: Online interview
  • STEP 5: Final Interview + Medical Check (~Late May) (tentative)

Two criteria

As he explains in the video below, Maezawa originally intended to recruit "artists" and "creators" only but he had a change of heart when he realized that the definition of "artist" or "creator" is not so clear. Therefore, he has established two criteria for application.

Successful applications will demonstrate they can:

  • 1. Use the experience of going to space to dramatically expand and accelerate their own activities which benefit people or society at large.
  • 2. Fully support and cooperate with the activities of their fellow passengers in addition to their own activities.

dearMoon Project Official Website

The official website will continue to be updated with details of the dearMoon project, flight plans, and information on the "Starship" and spacesuits being developed by SpaceX.

Announcement video with Elon Musk and Yusaku Maezawa

Watch the announcement video below: (You can enable automatic subtitling and English translation for Maezawa's parts in Japanese)

By - Ben K.