“I Can’t Plan My Future In This Situation”: Japanese Billionaire Cancels the SpaceX Moon Trip

3rd Jun 2024
“I Can’t Plan My Future In This Situation”: Japanese Billionaire Cancels the SpaceX Moon Trip

The first commercial passenger scheduled to perform a flyby of the Moon aboard a SpaceX vehicle has cancelled his planned trip due to a delay in the launch. The announcement  was made on 1st June 2024June, 2024 via his website and social media.

Japanese billionaire cancels private SpaceX moon mission

Yusaku Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur, art collector, and space enthusiast. In 2018, he purchased all the seats on a Starship, developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. For this venture, Maezawa initiated the dearMoon project – the first civilian mission to the Moon – and selected eight lucky crew members from one million applicants worldwide. Among them are the frontman of a popular K-pop group, an American DJ, and an Irish photographer.

According to the initial agreement, made in 2018, the voyage was stated to take place 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.” – cited from the cancellation notice, published on the website. “It’s a developmental project so it is what it is, but it is still uncertain as to when Starship can launch.” – mentioned Maezawa on his X.com account.

“I feel terrible making the crew members wait longer, hence the difficult decision to cancel at this point in time.” – posted Yusaku Maezawa on his X.com account.

However, some of the crew members criticized Maezawa’s decision.

“We were willing to wait as long as this mission took, but we were never given the option. The “unavoidable” decision to cancel had been made without any consultation with us.” – one of the crew members – an Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam – mentioned on her x.com account.

“We’re dealing with a billionaire who just changed his mind or got bored of waiting” – claims the woman. On her personal account she added that she feels “used”.

Another selected member of dearMoon team Tim Dodd (“Everyday Astronaut”) said: “Of course I’m extremely disappointed, having dreamt about this mission since I first heard about it in 2018 and even more for the last 3 years since the selection process started”.

 The mission finalists list included two world-famous photographers related to the UK. One of the eight crew members was London-based artist Rhiannon Adam. Another lucky photographer and filmmaker was Karim Iliya, who was born in the UK.

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