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SpaceX moon mission to take eight people ‘further than any human has ever left’ from Earth



SpaceX Starship prototype in flight

The SpaceX Starship prototype, which flies high above the launch facility in Boca Chica, Texas

SpaceX

Will civilians fly around the moon for the first time in 2023? According to Japanese founder Yusaku Maezawa, the answer is yes. He bankrolls the DearMoon mission, which is intended to take a group of eight people to the moon SpaceX is still under development Starship and orbit the earth’s natural satellite on a six-day mission.

The project, announced by Maezawa and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in 2018, originally planned to invite artists from around the world to experience. The criteria for “artists” were never clearly defined, but on Tuesday, in a new promotional video for the mission, Maezawa announced that DearMoon would be open to virtually everyone across the globe.

“I started thinking that maybe every single person who does something creative can be called an artist,” he says in the video, which you can see below.

Maezawa outlines “two key criteria” for civilian passengers. These also seem quite flexible.

  • “No matter what activity you are interested in, by going to space, I hope you can push the envelope to help other people and larger communities in some way.”
  • “You have to be willing and able to support other crew members who share similar ambitions.”

In total, Maezawa says that 10 to 12 people will be on board for the first flight around the moon. The billionaire entrepreneur had also started developing one “matchmaking” TV show about finding a boyfriend he could take to the moon on the assignment, but Maezawa canceled the project shortly after the announcement.

Musk appears in the video to explain that the mission expects to take humans “further than any human has ever left the planet Earth” because it will fly past the moon and loop around it to travel home.

Musk says he is “very confident” that Starship will have reached orbit “many, many times” before 2023, and that it will be “safe enough for human transport” when the mission is scheduled to begin. Musk has been inclined to make such claims before and missed a deadline or even, and the Starship prototypes have not yet reached a successful landing. The next prototype is scheduled to fly and land this week – but it is far from getting to the moon and back.

The selection process is not yet clearly defined for DearMoon, but the site’s schedule appears to have crew selections by July 2021. You can pre-register now and should hear more about the selection process sometime “after March 15, 2021.”

We have contacted the DearMoon team to clarify the details.

Another SpaceX mission aims to send civilians into space very soon. Known as Inspiration4, it plans to send people to orbit aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon, take off on top of a Falcon 9. It is also bankrolled by a billionaire, Jared Isaacman, and it can fly before the end of the year.

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