SpaceX plans to fly a civilian crew during the first Starship circumlunar voyage that is currently scheduled to take place in the year 2023. Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese entrepreneur, bought Starship’s first crewed trip to space, he plans to invite up to 12 passengers to embark on an adventure around the Moon, the mission is called ‘Dear Moon’. Maezawa is looking forward to see our home planet from space; Seeing “the big blue Earth with my own eyes… and then after coming out from the dark side of the Moon, we may be able to see the ‘Earthrise.’ Like the sunrise, Earth’s round shape will appear from beyond the Moon’s horizon,” he said during the Dear Moon mission announcement early March. In which he invited everyone from around the world to register for a chance to win a seat aboard the historic space voyage. The registration period ended mid-March and the project's staff is currently in the process of viewing over 1 million applications! By May, Dear Moon will select eight talented individuals from the general public who will inspire the world alongside Maezawa during their trip aboard Starship.
#dearMoon crew application Step 2 will be closing in【36 hours!!】 We have sent invitation emails to those who have pre-registered. Click on the link in the email and proceed to registration! pic.twitter.com/IKmTaGEjTT— Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) (@yousuckMZ) March 20, 2021
Starship SN11 / source: Tesmanian.com
“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,” SpaceX founder 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…people will go further than any human has ever gone from planet Earth,” he added. “So I think this will be very exciting for people to tune in and watch this, and enjoy the flight vicariously. And I know that Maezawa is also providing places on the ship for artists and others to join. So he wants this to be something that is exciting and inspiring for the whole world.”
First Super Heavy Booster pic.twitter.com/0K5QPsEbbt— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2021
The spacecraft is still in its initial phase of development at the SpaceX South Texas Launch Facility at Boca Chica Beach. SpaceX already conducted multiple flight tests and aims to have a space-ready Starship in less than three years. Musk said he is ‘highly confident’ that Starship will reach orbit before then. “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 said. The aerospace company is manufacturing stainless-steel Starship prototypes which are undergoing testing as part of the spacecraft’s development. The company aims to perform the first uncrewed orbital flight test this summer, their aspirational date is July 1st. To conduct an orbital flight SpaceX will require a Super Heavy rocket booster, which the company has not tested yet. The first booster is currently under assembly (pictured above). Next week, SpaceX targets to conduct a high-altitude flight test of the Starship SN11 prototype that is undergoing pre-flight preparations at the launch pad. You can watch SpaceX Starship launch pad operations Live 24/7 in the video below, courtesy of LabPadre via YouTube.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX Dear Moon
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.