Japanese Billionaire Cancels dearMoon/SpaceX Mission

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced his private dearMoon mission to the moon aboard SpaceX's Starship has been canceled....
Japanese Billionaire Cancels dearMoon/SpaceX Mission
Written by Matt Milano
  • Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced his private dearMoon mission to the moon aboard SpaceX’s Starship has been canceled.

    Maezawa launched the dearMoon Project in an effort to be the first civilian mission to the moon, utilizing SpaceX’s Starship. The mission was originally planned for the end of 2023. In view of delays and an uncertain future, Maezawa has decided to cancel the mission altogether.

    The dearMoon Project issued a statement on its website:

    In 2018, Yusaku Maezawa announced dearMoon, the world’s first civilian circumlunar voyage aboard SpaceX’s space vehicle, Starship. The plan had included artists from around the world who would participate in the project to share the invaluable experience in space with the rest of the world. Arrangements were being made with SpaceX to target the launch by the end of 2023.

    Unfortunately, however, launch within 2023 became unfeasible, and without clear schedule certainty in the near-term, it is with a heavy heart that Maezawa made the unavoidable decision to cancel the project. To all who have supported this project and looked forward to this endeavor, we sincerely appreciate it and apologize for this outcome.

    Although dearMoon is cancelled, Maezawa and dearMoon crew members will continue to challenge themselves in their respective fields. We will hold deep respect for SpaceX as they continue to venture into uncharted territories, while we ourselves will move on to the next challenge.

    Multiple countries have been showing a renewed interest in lunar missions, with the US among those looking to return to the moon. Previous SpaceX flights involving celebrities have raised interest in space travel. A circumlunar mission comprised of civilians may well have captured the public’s imagination and helped ignite further interest and funding for space travel.

    Unfortunately, someone else will have to organize such a mission.

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