A Japanese billionaire canceled his trip to the moon on a SpaceX rocket after too many delays

A Japanese billionaire canceled his trip to the moon on a SpaceX rocket after too many delays

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SpaceX Starship lifts off from the launchpad during a flight test  on April 20, 2023, in Boca Chica, Texas.
SpaceX Starship.

  • Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will no longer fly to the moon aboard SpaceX’s rocket, Starship.
  • A statement said the voyage was scheduled for 2023, but delays made the timeline “unfeasible.”
  • The uncertain launch schedule prompted Maezawa to scrap the project.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has canceled his star-studded trip to the moon aboard a rocket designed by Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX.

The project’s official website, dearMoon, published a statement on Saturday. Maezawa, the founder of online retailer Zozotown, first announced the project in 2018 and described it as “the world’s first civilian circumlunar voyage aboard SpaceX’s space vehicle, Starship.”

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SpaceX and dearMoon made plans to take flight by the end of 2023.

“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,” the statement read.

Yusaku Maezawa in January 2022.
Yusaku Maezawa.

Maezawa echoed the statement with an X post, writing, “I can’t plan my future in this situation, and I feel terrible making the crew members wait longer, hence the difficult decision to cancel at this point in time.”

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“I apologize to those who were excited for this project to happen,” he added.

A dearMoon representative confirmed the cancellation in a statement to Business Insider. Representatives for SpaceX did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Maezawa announced the eight people who would fly aboard the space vehicle in a YouTube video in December 2022. The guest list included American DJ Steve Aoki, K-Pop star T.O.P., and Indian actor Dev Joshi.

The billionaire previously traveled to space in December 2021 during a 12-day trip to the International Space Station. He spent an estimated $80 million to ride aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.

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Musk founded SpaceX in 2022 and recently answered questions about the company during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in May.

When asked if artificial intelligence could speed up his space exploration efforts, Musk said that “almost no AI is used” in that field.

He added that he’s not against integrating AI, but “we haven’t seen a use for it.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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