the dearMoon mission will embark stars on the Moon

SHIP. Since December 8, 2022, we know the identity of the personalities who will participate in the first manned flight of the Starship spacecraft. Led by a Japanese billionaire, this civilian crew is set to fly to the Moon in 2023.

After a selection that lasted more than a year, the list of candidates selected for the journey to lunar orbit orchestrated by Yūsaku Maezawa was officially revealed. They are eight in number and represent seven different nationalities. In addition to this crew, there are two substitutes who can be called if one of the mission members cannot participate in the flight. This group, made up of artists from different backgrounds, is the first crew composed entirely of civilians to make a space flight.

Officially launched in 2021, the dearMoon project is none other than the next goal of billionaire entrepreneur Yūsaku Maezawa, who has already participated in a first space mission by staying on the ISS in 2021. This time, his ambition is to assemble a crew made up of figures public to go back to the Moon with them before returning to Earth. The ship that will take this group of civilians to lunar orbit and back to Earth is the Starship by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company. Scheduled for 2023, the mission will, however, have to wait for the rocket to prove itself, since it has not yet made its first orbital flight.

DearMoon is a civilian space journey organized by billionaire Yūsaku Maezawa that will take eight passengers with him around the Moon. This is a major first in the history of space conquest, as it is the first time that a crew made up entirely of civilians will take off.

According to the flight plan published on the project’s website, the spacecraft should reach lunar orbit on the 5th.and flight day, circle the moon and return to 8and travel day. Landing on Earth must take place 11 days after takeoff. The spacecraft selected for the dearMoon project is the SpaceX Starship. This will be the first manned mission for the spacecraft, which is expected to take its passengers just 200 kilometers above the surface of the Moon.

On December 8, 2022, the identities of the eight Project dearMoon crew and two selected replacements were revealed. Selected from more than a million applicants who answered the call launched by Yūsaku Maezawa in 2021, the participants are artists according to the Japanese billionaire’s wish. K-pop star, DJ or Youtuber, the profiles are varied and creative, a deliberate choice of Yūsaku Maezawa, who introduces his team in the video below.

The group of astronauts who will be on board the Starship spacecraft alongside Yūsaku Maezawa during 2023 is therefore composed of American DJ Steve Aokifrom South Korean rapper Choi Seung Hyunfrom Czech Designer Yemi ADof Irish photographer Rhiannon Adamfrom American Youtuber Tim Doddfrom British photographer Karim Ilyafrom American filmmaker Brendan Hall It’s fromIndian actor Dev D. Joshi. In case of withdrawal, the astronauts who will make the substitution are the American snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and the Japanese dancer Miyu.

What is SpaceX’s Starship?

The Starship is a rocket developed by the company SpaceX that is composed of a launcher, the Super Heavy, topped by the Starship spacecraft. It is on board the latter that the astronauts of the Artemis 3 and Artemis 4 missions will land on lunar soil.

From a performance standpoint, the Starship rocket is on track to become the most powerful ever used and thus dethrone NASA’s SLS launcher. The entire rocket has a total of thirty-three Raptor engines. The upper part, Starship, was designed to be available in different versions depending on needs.

SpaceX’s Starship rocket is the largest and most powerful ever built. This rocket is composed of an extremely powerful launcher, the Super Heavy, capable of returning to land on Earth to serve again, topped by a Starship spacecraft that is also intended to be reusable. Its unparalleled power is achieved through thirty-three Raptor engines using liquid methane as fuel.

During liftoff, the first stage, called Super Heavy, propels the rocket into the sky. Once in the upper atmosphere, it detaches from the top, spins around, and lands back on Earth, spreading its feet for a smooth landing. In turn, the upper part, the Starship, starts its engines and continues its journey through space on its own.

Riding the Starship on its Super Heavy Launcher © UPI/Newscom/SIPA (published on 11/21/2022)

When and where will Starship’s first launch take place?

SpaceX’s Starship rocket has been expected for several years and is overdue. In September 2022, the ultra-powerful launcher successfully ignited seven of its thirty-three engines for the first time. On the following November 14th, fourteen of them were conclusively tested. The first test flight of the Starship rocket is scheduled for 2023.

How big is the starship?

The Starship rocket measures a total of 120 meters in height and 9 meters in diameter, making it the largest rocket ever built. Thus, it dethrones the Saturn V rocket that sent the first astronauts to the Moon during the Apollo missions. Its size is disproportionate to NASA’s SLS launcher, which reaches 98 meters in height when equipped with the Orion capsule. Only the Starship, that is, the upper part of the rocket, measures 50 meters in height and weighs 1,200 tons.

Starship in its Super Heavy Launcher © UPI/Newscom/SIPA (published on 03/10/2022)

How much does the Starship rocket cost?

SpaceX has not disclosed the total price for the construction of the Starship rocket, but we do know the value of the contract that was signed between Elon Musk’s company and NASA for the various Artemis missions involving SpaceX. So, for Artemis 3, NASA paid 2.89 billion dollars. For Artemis 4 and the new version of the Starship spacecraft, the contract is worth 1.15 billion dollars.

In addition, the company SpaceX has revealed the prices it hopes to be able to offer for its Starship rocket launch services. Elon Musk thus intends to break the prices of the space economy by proposing a price of 2 million dollars per flight while the SLS costs 2 billion dollars.

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