SpaceX “breaks up” with Japanese billionaire, dearMoon’s journey around the moon announced to be suspended

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has made a high-profile announcement that he will take a SpaceX starship on a "journey around the moon." If the flight goes smoothly, it will be the first time humans have returned to orbit around the moon since the end of the U.S. Apollo moon landing program in 1972.

However, this plan now seems to have been "scrapped".

Yusaku Maezawa recently announced that he would cancel his scheduled SpaceX trip to the moon because SpaceX has delayed its launch plan.

He said he canceled the flight because of uncertainty about when Starship would be ready for his dearMoon mission around the moon.

The dearMoon lunar mission was originally planned to be launched at the end of 2023. However, there is news that dearMoon’s launch date may have to be postponed until after 2030 due to a significant drop in priority. Maezawa Yusaku therefore decided to cancel directly instead of continuing to wait.

Yusaku Maezawa wrote on Apologies to those who are excited about this project happening."

In September 2018, SpaceX announced that it had signed an order for its first space passenger, who would become the first private passenger in history to fly around the moon.

Subsequently, SpaceX officially announced the identity of the mysterious passenger. He is Yusaku Maezawa.

Yusaku Maezawa was born in 1975 and founded Start Today in 1998. Its ZOZOTOWN is currently the largest fashion e-commerce company in Japan.

Forbes estimates Maezawa's personal assets at US$3.6 billion. He is Japan's 14th richest man and the country's third youngest billionaire.

For Yusaku Maezawa, this flight was not only a space trip, but also a revolutionary art project.

Yusaku Maezawa said that being the world's first private passenger to orbit the moon is of great significance to him. He may fly around the moon with paintings from his previous collection, which include paintings by famous people such as Picasso.

Yusaku Maezawa does not intend to set out alone, he also hopes to go to the moon with artists.

In December 2022, Yusaku Maezawa successively invited 8 artists and creators to form a team with them and embark on the dearMoon lunar exploration journey.

The eight-person team includes: Tim Dodd, creator of the YouTube channel Everyday Astronaut, DJ and electronic music producer Steve Aoki, artist and choreographer Yemi AD, photographer Karim Iliya, filmmaker Brendan Hall, Indian television actor Dev Joshi, and Korean rapper TOP.

In addition, considering that fellow travelers may not be able to make the trip due to illness or other special circumstances, Maezawa Yusaku chose two alternate members, namely dancer Miyu and snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington.

Yusaku Maezawa was very excited about the flight plan and vigorously promoted the event on various occasions.

At the SpaceX launch, he once sat on Musk’s neck with his arms spread wide.

After breaking up with star Ayame Gouri, Maezawa Yusaku announced in 2020 that he was seeking a female "life partner" to accompany him on a trip around the moon.

At the time, he also stated that he would participate in a TV show dating program to publicly recruit marriage partners, but later canceled the plan on the grounds that he was not mentally prepared.

Starship is a heavy-duty launch vehicle developed by SpaceX. Its ultimate goal is to create a fully reusable transportation system that can transport passengers and cargo into Earth orbit, help humans return to the moon, and eventually travel to Mars and beyond. further afield.

In the past few years, we have witnessed many SpaceX starship launch missions. In April 2023, SpaceX conducted its first unmanned starship test flight, but ultimately failed to enter space.

Then in November, SpaceX conducted a second flight test, this time flying higher, but it still failed.

On March 14 this year, all 33 Raptor engines were successfully ignited and successfully lifted off, making the starship enter space orbit for the first time. Unfortunately, it still failed to fall as planned.

People have witnessed the growth and progress of the starship, but the fact that it has not succeeded yet is right in front of them.

These failures led to repeated postponements of the dearMoon mission around the moon. Yusaku Maezawa also felt a little tired about this and finally decided to cancel the plan.

Dodd was very disappointed when Yusaku Maezawa announced the cancellation of the dearMoon project. As an avid space enthusiast, this is the closest he has ever come to contacting space. "Just like that, our team's dream was shattered," Dodd said.

He wrote on X:

I'm extremely disappointed, I've been dreaming about this mission since I first heard about it in 2018. I have dreamed more in the past 3 years since the selection process began. I slowly allowed myself to imagine a trip to the moon, piece by piece.

Although this plan may not be restarted in the short term, this does not mean that Yusaku Maezawa cannot enter space.

As early as December 2021, he had already flown to the International Space Station on the Russian "Soyuz MS-20" spacecraft, together with his assistant Yosansaku Hirano and Russian astronaut Misulkin, for a 12-day mission. Space travelling.

Yusaku Maezawa thus became the first Japanese to board the space station at his own expense.

Not long ago, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, unfollowed Yusaku Maezawa on X, which caused a lot of speculation at the time. Only now has this matter finally settled.

The dearMoon team said in a statement on the official website: "We will have deep respect for SpaceX as they continue to explore unknown territories, and we ourselves will meet the next challenge."

However, many netizens also expressed their understanding:

"Although it is a pity, Mr. Maezawa's efforts in pursuing his dreams are worthy of respect."

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