Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Cancels dearMoon Mission Over Starship Delays

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Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Cancels dearMoon Mission
Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Cancels dearMoon Mission

In a move that promised to usher in a new era of space exploration for everyday citizens, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa partnered with SpaceX in 2018 to launch a pioneering lunar mission.

This project, initially called dearMoon and funded entirely by Maezawa, would have seen him become the first civilian to travel around the Moon alongside a crew of eight. With Maezawa at the helm, responsible for both the mission’s name and its key choices, dearMoon was slated for a 2023 launch.

However, setbacks caused the mission to be postponed, and in June 2024, Maezawa made the difficult decision to cancel the week-long lunar voyage altogether.

Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Cancels dearMoon Mission
Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Cancels dearMoon Mission (dearMoon)

Fueled by a desire to return to his life and frustrated by the stalled progress, Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese billionaire funding a private lunar mission, announced his withdrawal from the project.

Citing the missed 2023 deadline and the lack of a clear timeline for the launch of the Starship rocket’s completion, Maezawa indicated he could no longer wait. This decision sparked criticism, particularly from Rhiannon Adam, a chosen crew member and Irish photographic artist.

Adam voiced her disappointment on social media, emphasizing that delays are inevitable in complex space endeavors. She further faulted Maezawa for not consulting the crew beforehand, calling his actions unprofessional and disrespectful. Maezawa has yet to respond to these criticisms, possibly confident in his decision due to his significant financial backing of the mission.

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