Yusaku Maezawa
Crew of artists selected for "dearMoon" moon mission express disappointment after mission cancellation due to SpaceX delays. Twitter / Yusaku Maezawa MZ) (@yousuckMZ

According to the latest reports, Yusaku Maezawa, a prominent Japanese billionaire, has recently scrapped his planned "dearMoon" mission aboard a SpaceX spacecraft, citing uncertainties surrounding the launch date.

In 2018, the fashion mogul unveiled his ambitious plan to travel to the Moon. He even went further in 2022 by securing seats for eight companions on this lunar voyage.

The recently-scrapped mission would have marked Maezawa's second spaceflight, following his 12-day trip to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2021. He announced the cancellation of the dearMoon project on X.

dearMoon Mission Cancelled

Maezawa even regretted the planning difficulties caused by the uncertain launch date. He said he felt terrible keeping the crew waiting any longer, leading him to the tough decision to cancel the mission.

Standing tall as the world's most powerful and loftiest launch vehicle, SpaceX's Starship and Super Heavy booster system completed its first uncrewed test flight in April 2023. However, it fell short of reaching orbit.

A subsequent test in November 2023 achieved a higher altitude but also fell short of orbital goals. However, on a triumphant note, Starship finally achieved orbit in a test conducted on March 14, 2024, marking a significant milestone for SpaceX.

Unfortunately, despite achieving orbit, neither the Starship nor its Super Heavy booster returned to their designated ocean landing zones. With its sights set on a crewed lunar mission for NASA's Artemis program by 2026, SpaceX is now preparing for its fourth Starship test flight, targeted for launch on June 5.

The dearMoon mission, originally envisioned as an artistic expedition around the Moon, was set to carry a crew of eight talented individuals alongside Maezawa.

The Diverse Talents Selected for dearMoon

Maezawa's dream crew for his lunar mission around the Moon was a star-studded group. It included Tim Dodd (aka Everyday Astronaut on YouTube), DJ Steve Aoki, the multi-talented Yemi A.D., photographer Karim Iliya, filmmaker Brendan Hall, Indian actor Dev Joshi, and K-pop star Choi Seung-Hyun (A.K.A. T.O.P.) Dancers Miyu and snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington were also on board as backups for this artistic adventure.

The dearMoon crew's social media went silent after the bad news. But only for a short time! Soon, X was buzzing with reactions, with some members, like Dodd, expressing their heartbreak about the cancelled mission.

Like everyone else, T.O.P. took to Instagram after the dearMoon mission was cancelled. He even shared a part of the dearMoon cancellation notice, which said, "Unfortunately, however, launch within 2023 became unfeasible, and without clear schedule certainty in the near-term, it is with a heavy heart that Maezawa made the unavoidable decision to cancel the project."

T.O.P. also appreciated Maezawa's vision in creating the dearMoon project. The rapper described dearMoon as "the greatest and most beautiful" endeavour ever conceived, an audacious project that defied imagination. He lauded Yusaku Maezawa's courage in even attempting such a groundbreaking mission.

"My dream is by no means over," he added. "Being selected as a 'dearMoon' crew member was one of the greatest honours of my life. My heart is full of gratitude for the experiences and friendships I gained through this process."

"We will hold deep respect for SpaceX as they continue to venture into uncharted territories, while we will move on to the next challenge," his dearMoon team said in a statement.