American music producer DJ Steve Aoki is among one million people who participated in the ‘Dear Moon’ contest to win a trip aboard SpaceX’s Starship [see video below]. The Dear Moon project is created by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa who invested in Starship’s development by purchasing first crewed voyage around the Moon, scheduled for 2023. The spacecraft will not land on the lunar surface, it will be week-long trip during which the spacecraft will travel approximately 240,000 miles away from Earth to circle the Moon and return. 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."
Maezawa invited the general public in March to participate in the contest by submitting an application with information about who they are, a selfie, alongside a short essay about why going to space is their dream and how it would benefit humanity. Dear Moon representatives then selected hundreds of prominent individuals who applied out of 1 million contestants. They were asked to submit a video to showcase who they are and share how they would change the world if they won a space tour. “We have received requests from 1 million people from 249 countries and territories, that is, basically from all over the world,” Maezawa said.
Dear Moon published a video that showcases some of the participants. Steve Aoki is in the video clip among other prominent individuals, including: Pulitzer Prize winner photographer from Panama Essdras M. Suarez; American Olympic snowboard medalist Kaitlyn Farrington; Quantum physicist Merritt Moore, who is also a professional ballerina; and multi-faceted entertainer Gabriel C. Brown, who has a YouTube channel with over 4 million subscribers.
Ever since SpaceX announced it would develop the Starship launch vehicle in late-2018, Aoki mentioned via social media that he wished to go to space aboard SpaceX spacecraft. Dear Moon gave him the opportunity to get closer to his space travel dream. “[…] And to be the first DJ to be up there on the moon with you, is the greatest dream come true, ever!” Aoki tells Maezawa in the video, linked below.
Last month, Dear Moon representatives announced that they already selected the finalists that could travel to space aboard SpaceX’s Starship first crewed mission. “Candidates who will be going to the next round have now all completed a medical check-up. To those who have not gone that far, we thank you for applying and we hope for your continued support,” they said in August. They did not release how many people made it to the final round, all that is known is that only 8 individuals will be selected to go on SpaceX’s historic voyage around the moon. Starship is under development at the Starbase facility in Boca Chica Beach, Texas. The company is working around-the-clock to have the spacecraft ready by 2023.
VIDEO: Dear Moon Applicants
Featured Image Source: SpaceX Dear Moon