Japanese billionaire will pay for 8 people to join him on SpaceX mission to the moon

Yusaku Maezawa is the first man to book a spot aboard the 'Starship'.
Yusaku Maezawa is the first man to book a spot aboard the 'Starship'. Photo credit: Supplied / Getty

A Japanese billionaire is looking for eight volunteers to join him on a journey to the moon.

Yusaku Maezawa, 45, on Tuesday invited eight members of the public to accompany him on a week-long private mission around the moon in 2023.

Maezawa is the first man to book a spot aboard the 'Starship', currently being developed by SpaceX, after paying an undisclosed sum for the journey.

"Two years ago, I said that I would like to invite artists from around the world to come along with me. That was the initial plan, but it has since evolved," he said in a video posted on Twitter Wednesday.

"I began to wonder… who do I mean by artists? A singer? A dancer? A writer? The more I thought about it, the more ambiguous it became.

"And I began to think that maybe every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist. And that is why I wanted to reach out to a wider, more diverse audience to give more people across the world the opportunity to join this journey."

The journey will take three days to get to the Moon, loop behind it, and three days to come back.

The 45-year-old says there will be two key criteria for those who want to apply.

"First of all, whatever activity you are into, by going to space, I hope that you push its envelope to help other people and greater society in some way," he said.

"I want someone with that kind of potential to take part. Are you satisfied with what you're doing right now? By going to space could you do something that's even better, even bigger? If that sounds like you, please join me.

"Second of all, you have to be willing and able to support other crew members who share similar aspirations."

The billionaire says he wanted to experience this trip to satisfy his curiosity.

"Secondly, I want to remind myself just how amazing our planet really is. I want to express my appreciation for this extraordinary planet I call home," he said.

"Lastly, I want to be reminded of how small, [and] how insignificant I am."

"In space, I think I will realise how small I am, how much more I have to experience, how much harder I should work and how much more I can grow."