Share
News

Billionaire's Moon Trip Canceled: 'Unavoidable Decision'

Share

Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has canceled his planned flight around the moon on a SpaceX vehicle because of uncertainty about when it may be possible.

The tycoon in 2018 launched plans for the lunar flyby voyage.

He bought seats for eight traveling companions in 2022 for what would be his second space journey after his 12-day trip to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in 2021.

Maezawa was aiming for the moon trip in 2023, a target seen by most space observers as overly optimistic, given the progress of SpaceX’s Spaceship mega-rocket project. It would have been the first private flight around the moon.

Trending:
WSJ Reporter Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison, Employer Calls It a 'Disgraceful, Sham Conviction'

That project became “unfeasible,” the mission organizer said June 1 in a statement posted on its website.

“Without clear schedule certainty in the near term, it is with a heavy heart that Maezawa made the unavoidable decision to cancel the project.”

Would you ever travel to the moon?

“To all who have supported this project and looked forward to this endeavor, we sincerely appreciate it and apologize for this outcome,” the statement said.

Maezawa had selected eight people for his “dearMoon” project from 1 million applicants. They included a lead rapper for the K-pop group Big Bang, and Americans DJ Steve Aoki and filmmaker Brendan Hall.

Separately on June 1, Maezawa said in his message on X: “I can’t plan my future in this situation and I feel terrible making the crew members wait longer, hence (I made) the difficult decision to cancel at this point in time.”

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

He said he signed the contract with SpaceX in 2018 assuming the launch would be possible by the end of 2023. “It’s a developmental project, so it is what it is, but it is still uncertain as to when Starship can launch.”

Related:
African Country Issues Massive Fine on Meta for 'Multiple and Repeated' Violations of the Law

SpaceX’s two test flights of its mega-rocket last year ended in explosions minutes after liftoff. In a third test in March, its spacecraft was lost as it descended back to Earth.

Maezawa and his producer in December 2021 became the first self-paying tourists to visit the space station since 2009.

Maezawa made his fortune in retail fashion, launching Japan’s major online fashion mall, Zozotown.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation