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Have you ever dreamt of traveling to the Moon? You might have a chance! Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa purchased the first crewed flight aboard SpaceX’s Starship to go on a voyage around the moon and he is searching for 8 civilians to join him. On March 2nd, Maezawa invited the general public from around the world to pre-register for a chance to win a seat aboard Starship’s first crewed mission called “Dear Moon.” The spacecraft will not land on the lunar surface, it will be week-long space tour in which the spacecraft will travel approximately 240,000 miles away, circle the Moon and return to Earth. Maezawa shared it will take three days to arrive to our closest celestial neighbor and three-days to return to Earth’s orbit. “What is very significant about the Dear Moon mission is that it will be the first private spaceflight, first commercial spaceflight, with humans beyond Earth orbit,” the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk said. “So this has never occurred before, and we’re going to go past the Moon, so it will actually end up being further…further than any human has ever gone from planet Earth,” Musk said in the mission’s video announcement, shown below.
A couple of years ago, Maezawa announced plans to take famous artists with him to the Moon, now he wants to invite the general public a “wider, more diverse audience” who are creative and would use the experience to change the world in some way –“maybe every single person is doing something creative could be called an artist,” he said in a new video released on Tuesday afternoon. “I want people from all kinds of backgrounds to join.”
“It will be 10 to 12 people in all, but I will be inviting 8 people to come along on the ride,” Maezawa stated. For a chance to go on a trip around the Moon aboard Starship you can pre-register via dearmoon.earth. Maezawa says anyone who meets two criteria could win a seat – those who “can push its envelope to help other people and greater society in some way” and are “willing to support other crew members who share similar aspirations.”
The Dear Moon mission is currently scheduled to launch during the year 2023, however, the Starship spacecraft is still in its initial phase of development in South Texas. Stainless-steel prototypes of Starship are undergoing testing; multiple vehicles have conducted incredible high-altitude flight tests but SpaceX has not aced the landing. During the latest flight test, on February 2nd, engineers launched the Starship SN9 prototype into an altitude of approximately 40,000 feet (12-kilometers) powered by a trio of Raptor engines. Starship SN9 performed a controlled aerodynamic descent and landing flip maneuver that ended in an explosion. SpaceX is now preparing to test launch the next prototype, Starship SN10, and attempt to land the vehicle smoothly. If all goes well, engineers will move to the next phase of development. Musk said he feels confident that SpaceX will have a space-ready Starship by 2023, “I’m highly confident that we will have reached orbit many times with Starship before 2023. And that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023. It’s looking very promising,” he srated. You can watch the Dear Moon project announcement video with Maezawa and Musk below.
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About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.