Yusaku Maezawa Cancels the #dearMoon Mission with SpaceX

In an announcement released on 6/1, Yusaku Maezawa has officially backed out of the #DearMoon Mission with SpaceX. The official announcement was posted as a PDF on the dearmoon.earth and shared by @YouSuckMZ on X.

Official Notice of Project Cancellation

In 2018, Yusaku Maezawa announced dearMoon, the world’s first civilian circumlunar voyage aboard SpaceX’s space vehicle, Starship. The plan had included artists from around the world who would participate in the project to share the invaluable experience in space with the rest of the world. Arrangements were being made with SpaceX to target the launch
by the end of 2023.

Unfortunately, however, launch within 2023 became unfeasible, and without clear schedule certainty in the near-term, it is with a heavy heart that Maezawa made the unavoidable decision to cancel the project. To all who have supported this project and looked forward to this endeavor, we sincerely appreciate it and apologize for this outcome.

Although dearMoon is cancelled, Maezawa and dearMoon crew members will continue to challenge themselves in their respective fields.
We will hold deep respect for SpaceX as they continue to venture into uncharted territories, while we ourselves will move on to the next challenge.

What was the dearMoon Mission?

The planned dearMoon mission was an ambitious lunar tourism and art project initiated by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, using SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft. The mission aims to carry Maezawa and eight artists on a week-long journey around the Moon. Initially targeted for launch in 2023, the mission has been part of a broader conversation about promoting peace and inspiring art through space exploration. Each artist selected, from various disciplines like music, film, and photography, is expected to create new art based on their experiences post-mission

The dearMoon project had assembled a diverse crew of artists and innovators for its lunar mission. The crew includes Steve Aoki, a renowned music producer and DJ; Yemi A.D., a multidisciplinary creative and choreographer; Tim Dodd, better known as the “Everyday Astronaut,” a content creator focused on space exploration; Brendan Hall, a documentary filmmaker; Karim Iliya, a photographer and filmmaker who specializes in nature and wildlife; TOP (Choi Seung Hyun), a South Korean rapper and actor; Dev D. Joshi, an Indian actor and social media influencer; and Rhiannon Adam, a photographic artist known for her long-form, research-based projects. Each member brought a unique perspective and set of skills, poised to capture and interpret the experience of orbiting the Moon through their own artistic lenses.

The DearMoon Crew

For more details on the crew and their backgrounds, you can check the official dearMoon website here.

Reaction to The Cancellation

Tim Dodd (the Everyday Astronaut), expressed his complex feelings of disappointment and disbelief on X after the unexpected cancellation of the dearMoon mission, an opportunity he had eagerly anticipated to journey to the moon.

SpaceX enthusiast Eli Burton, creator of “The Adventures of Starman,” released a poignant 2.5-minute music video as a tribute to the dearMoon mission that was ultimately not realized. The video serves as a creative homage, blending visuals and music to express the collective sentiment of anticipation and loss felt by space exploration supporters around the world.

Hope and Encourage for the Future

The space community has rallied around Tim Dodd, the Everyday Astronaut, with an overwhelming show of support and empathy after his opportunity to travel to the moon was unexpectedly withdrawn. Figures such as Jon Edwards, VP of Falcon Launch Vehicles at SpaceX, and Jared Isaacman, commander of the Inspiration4 mission and the upcoming Polaris Dawn mission, have offered words of hope and encouragement, hinting at future prospects for space exploration.

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Nathan primarily writes about emerging technologies, sustainability in engineering practices, robotics, and the intersection of artificial intelligence with daily life. He also explores the impact of scientific advancements on society and the environment.