Japanese billionaire cancels planned Starship lunar mission | Science

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Japanese billionaire who was the first commercial customer for SpaceX’s Starship vehicle has abruptly pulled the plug on his proposed quixotic circumlunar mission.

In a June 1 message, Yusaku Maezawa announced he was canceling his “dearMoon” mission, which was to fly him and eight artists around the moon on a Starship vehicle. He cited ongoing delays in the mission and uncertainty when it would launch.

“Arrangements were being made with SpaceX to target the launch by the end of 2023,” the dearMoon project said in a statement posted on its website. “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.”

“I signed the contract in 2018 based on the assumption that dearMoon would launch by the end of 2023,” Maezawa posted on social media June 1. “I can’t plan my future in this…

Source spacenews.com

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