Billionaire space tourist cancels lunar flight amid changing SpaceX priorities

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who signed up for a flight to lunar orbit on SpaceX’s Starship in 2018, canceled his trip. He told the reason A series of posts in XStarship is still in development and a “dearMoon” launch may not happen until the 2030s.

“I signed the contract in 2018 on the basis that dearMoon would be operational by the end of 2023,” he said. “It’s a development project, so that’s what it is, but it’s still uncertain when the Starship will be launched. I can’t plan for my future in this situation, and I feel terrible for making the crew wait even longer. I apologize to them. who They’re excited for this project to happen.”

Maezawa announced the dearMoon project with Elon Musk at SpaceX’s Hawthorne factory in 2018. He paid the company a low nine-figure sum to help finance it and was later selected. eight other companions for travel including artists, photographers, a YouTuber and a member of a Korean boy band.

However, Starship development, as with almost every rocket development program, was slower than expected. The first test flight was only a year ago, and the first fully successful launch (with the car intact) has just taken place. a few months ago. The next flight will start on June 5.

Furthermore, when NASA selected Starship for the Artemis program, SpaceX’s priorities changed dramatically. This forced the company to ditch dearMoon, which meant it wouldn’t happen until the early 2030s. Maezawa’s net worth has also decreased since the 2018 announcement Ars Technica noted. In addition to all this, the spending billionaire has already gone to space 12 days On the International Space Station.

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