The Private ‘Dear Moon’ SpaceX Odyssey To The Moon!
The private SpaceX mission around the Moon planned for 2023 for the eccentric Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and 6-8 artists, will be the first private trip beyond low Earth orbit and likely the first to the Moon in over 50 years! The mission intends to help pay for the development of SpaceX’s futuristic Starship and features a fly-by of the Moon which is hoped to inspire World Peace through art.
Fun Facts About The Tourism Flight ‘Out Of This World’
In early 2017, SpaceX announced that it intended to send two unidentified space tourist on a fantastic journey to circumnavigate the Moon and return them to Earth via a free-return trajectory aboard the Falcon Heavy rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft! However, in September 2018, Elon Musk announced that this journey to the Moon would now be completed aboard the Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy Booster (both still under development), in 2023.
Known as the #dearMoon Project, the mission is a radical space tourism flight conceived and financed by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. Mr Maezawa intends to invite between 6-8 artists to join him aboard the first crewed flight of SpaceX's Starship spacecraft on a trip around the Moon. The objective being that the artist will be sufficiently inspired to create art that would help promote world peace.
The flight entails a week-long lunar fly-by along a free-return trajectory, before slinging back towards Earth. How amazing would that be! Only the Apollo 13 moon mission has completed a similar free-return trip, as all the other Apollo Missions all entered orbit around the Moon.
It is intended to lift-off from the historic Pad 39A, at the Kennedy Space Center; the same launch pad used by the Saturn V during the Apollo program’s moon missions. If completed before NASA’s Orion spacecraft manned mission around the Moon, it would be the first time humans have visited the Moon since Apollo 17 returned to Earth in December 1972!
Other similar missions are expected to follow as other wealthy people express interest in also completing an ‘out of this world’ mission! The Starship spacecraft/rocket system is also intended to be used for the SpaceX funded manned missions to Mars in the late 2020’s.