dearMoon project

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dearMoon project
Starship passing the Moon-2018 version.jpg
Artistic rendition of the Starship firing its engines during its lunar flyby
Mission typeCrewed lunar flyby
COSPAR ID Edit this at Wikidata
Mission duration6 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeStarship[1][2]
Crew size10–12[4]
MembersYusaku Maezawa
Damien Chazelle
(not accepted yet)[3]
Start of mission
Launch date2023 (proposed)[1][5]
RocketSpaceX Starship[6]
DearMoon Project insignia.svg
dearMoon project insignia  

The dearMoon project is a lunar tourism mission and art project conceived and financed by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. It will make use of a SpaceX Starship spacecraft on a private spaceflight flying a single circumlunar trajectory around the Moon. The passengers will be Maezawa, 8 civilians, and one or two crew members. The project was unveiled in September 2018 and the flight is expected to occur no earlier than 2023. The project objective is to have six to eight passengers travel with Maezawa for free around the Moon on a six-day tour. Maezawa expects that the experience of space tourism will inspire the accompanying passengers in the creation of something new. The art would be exhibited some time after returning to Earth to help promote peace around the world.

Maezawa had previously contracted in 2017 with SpaceX for a lunar flyby in a much smaller Dragon 2 spacecraft launched by a Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, which would have carried only two passengers. According to a SpaceX announcement in early 2018, the Falcon Heavy plan was shelved in light of the development of Starship.[6] As of 2021, Starship is in development. The crewed flight will not take place until after Starship is thoroughly tested and after an uncrewed circumlunar test flight.[citation needed]


On February 27, 2017, SpaceX announced that they were planning to fly two space tourists on a free-return trajectory around the Moon, now known to be billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, and one friend.[7] This mission, which would have launched in late 2018, was planned to use the Crew Dragon 2 capsule already developed under contract for NASA's Commercial Crew Program and launched via a Falcon Heavy rocket.[8] As well as being a source of income for the company, any mission would serve as technology development for SpaceX's further plans to colonize Mars.[9]

At the time of the 2017 announcement, the Crew Dragon 2 capsule was still under development and the Falcon Heavy had yet to fly. Industry analysts noted that the schedule proposed by SpaceX might be too ambitious, as the capsule was expected to need modifications to handle differences in flight profile between the proposed lunar flight and its main use for crew transfer to space stations orbiting Earth.[10]

In February 2018, SpaceX announced it no longer had plans to certify the Falcon Heavy for human spaceflight and that lunar missions would be flown on Starship (then called BFR).[6][11] Then, on September 14, 2018, SpaceX announced that the previously contracted passenger would be launched aboard Starship to flyby the Moon in 2023.[12][13] Starship will have a pressurized volume of 1,000 m3 (35,000 cu ft), large common areas, central storage, a galley, and a solar storm shelter.[14]


The project was announced in 2018 with the original intent to bring a crew of artists to the moon. In this latest release, Maezawa calls for applicants to make up a crew of eight individuals from around the world for the week-long lunar trip.

On February 7, 2019, the dearMoon YouTube channel posted a video in which Maezawa discusses the movie First Man with director Damien Chazelle and lead actor Ryan Gosling. In the video, Maezawa officially invites Chazelle to come with him on his dearMoon project, making Chazelle the first person to be publicly invited to go. However, Chazelle answered that he had to think about it and discuss it with his wife.[15] On March 3, 2021, Yusaku Maezawa announced that eight members of the public will be selected to fly on dearMoon.[4][16] On July 16, 2021, Yuzaku Maezawa uploaded a video that reveals 1 million people have joined, but there was still no information on who won the 8 seats.[17]

Maezawa didn't specify what qualifications are necessary to be selected for the mission, however, the dearMoon project requires candidates to go through screenings and interviews.[18]


An artistic depiction of a violinist performing in zero gravity inside the Starship.

The dearMoon project passengers will be Yusaku Maezawa and six to eight accomplished artists that Maezawa will invite to travel with him for free. One or two astronauts and an undetermined number of SpaceX pilots might also fly on board.[19][7] Maezawa expects this flight to inspire the artists in their creation of new art, which will be presented some time after their return to Earth. He hopes this project will help promote peace around the world.[1][5][7]

Artists invited (not accepted yet) by Maezawa to date:

Mission profile[edit]

Proposed to launch in 2023, the circumlunar mission is expected to take 6 days to complete.[1] In 1970, Apollo 13 followed a similar trajectory around the Moon. During the 2020s NASA's Artemis 1 and Artemis 2 are proposed to launch on similar trajectories; the second one is planned to be crewed and to be launched in 2024.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d First Private Passenger on Lunar BFR Mission Archived 2020-02-11 at the Wayback Machine. Press conference streamed live at YouTube by SpaceX. 17 September 2018.
  2. ^ SpaceX signs its first passenger to fly aboard the Big Falcon Rocket Moon mission Archived 2018-09-15 at the Wayback Machine. CatchNews. 14 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b dearMoon (2019-02-06), Movie "FIRST MAN" Special talk -Yusaku Maezawa × Damien Chazelle × Ryan Gosling-, archived from the original on 2019-07-17, retrieved 2019-03-06
  4. ^ a b Sheetz, Michael (2 March 2021). "Japanese billionaire to fly eight members of the public on SpaceX moon flight". CNBC. Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b Dear Moon Archived 2020-01-12 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed: 17 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Foust, Jeff. "SpaceX no longer planning crewed missions on Falcon Heavy". Spacenews. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  7. ^ a b c How SpaceX's 1st Passenger Flight Around the Moon with Yusaku Maezawa Will Work Archived 2020-02-01 at the Wayback Machine. Tariq Malik, 18 September 2018.
  8. ^ SpaceX (27 February 2017). "SpaceX to Send Privately Crewed Dragon Spacecraft Beyond the Moon Next Year". SpaceX. Archived from the original on 1 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  9. ^ David Dickinson (1 March 2017). "SpaceX Announces 2018 Moonshot Mission". Sky and Telescope. Archived from the original on 18 December 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  10. ^ Mike Wall (4 March 2017). "Could SpaceX Get People to the Moon in 2018?". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 23 November 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  11. ^ Pasztor, Andy. "Elon Musk Says SpaceX's New Falcon Heavy Rocket Unlikely to Carry Astronauts". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 6 February 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  12. ^ Eric Ralph (14 September 2018). "SpaceX has signed a private passenger for the first BFR launch around the Moon". Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  13. ^ Grush, Loren (14 September 2018). "SpaceX says it will send someone around the Moon on its future monster rocket". The Verge. Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Making Life Multiplanetary: Abridged transcript of Elon Musk's presentation to the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia" (PDF). SpaceX. September 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-08-08. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  15. ^ "Movie "FIRST MAN" Special talk -Yusaku Maezawa × Damien Chazelle × Ryan Gosling-". 7 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  16. ^ Maezawa, Yusaku [@yousuckMZ] (3 March 2021). "Get your FREE TICKET to the MOON!!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 3 March 2021. Retrieved 3 March 2021 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ 【全世界から100万人が応募】dearMoon 最終選考間近、エントリー映像公開!【1M ENTRIES WORLDWIDE】dearMoon Applicants Sneak Peek!, archived from the original on 2021-07-18, retrieved 2021-07-18
  18. ^ "dearMoon 8 crew members wanted!". dearMoon 8 crew members wanted!. Retrieved 2021-10-17.
  19. ^ Maezawa on Twitter: After a press conference, we talked a lot at Elon's home. He said that it would be reliable if 1-2 astronauts will be on board. Archived 2018-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ NASA Outlines Challenges, Progress for Artemis Moon Missions

External links[edit]