For a while, Maezawa looked left and right for people to go with him. At one point, he even tried to find a lady friend to accompany him to the stars, but he eventually gave that plan up.
You see, the man did not just pay for his own seat on the rocket (we now call that rocket Starship), but for the entire damn thing. That would be a seat for himself, eight seats for an equal number of civilians, and one or two seats for crew members.
So, a total of at least ten people, the largest number ever sent to space on a single mission, and only a fraction of the planned capacity of 100 humans the Starship should be capable of carrying in Mars-going configuration.
In March 2021, Maezawa announced he wants to “give as many talented individuals as possible the opportunity to go” on dearMoon, so he launched a social-media call to arms. By the end of June, the selection of the eight civilians was completed (after combing through some 1 million entries), although we don’t know many of their names yet.
We do know most of them are artists (the Japanese man owns an art foundation, remember?), who will be taken to the sky to find inspiration and create something new.
Although not much news comes out of the dearMoon headquarters, the timeline of the mission shows how throughout next year the civilian crew will be undergoing training in preparation for their trip to the space one year later.
The ship that will be used for the orbital mission will, of course, not be the one that will go to the Moon. That one will be much larger, offering something on the lines of 35,000 cubic feet (1,000 cubic meters) of pressurized volume, divided into common areas, galley, and a solar storm shelter. For parts of the trip, the people onboard would be wearing the SpaceX spacesuits we all know by now. As per the current details of the dearMoon mission, the entire flight around the Moon should take about six days.
Before he goes to the Moon accompanied by artists, though, Maezawa is scheduled to head to the International Space Station in December this year, after he paid probably another fortune to be taken up there by a company called Space Adventures onboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.