Moonshot

Meet 10 everyday folks vying for a free seat on that SpaceX moon mission

A stand-up comic! A truck driver! A 15-year-old kid! They’re all entering billionaire Yusaku Maezawa’s once-in-a-lifetime contest.

DearMoon

Early last week, Japanese fashion billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced a contest to choose eight civilians to accompany him, for free, on a weeklong trip around the moon. If all goes well, the SpaceX Starship will make its journey in 2023.

dearMoon

We wanted to know what kind of people have been applying to Maezawa’s dearMoon project. What were their hopes and dreams? Why did they believe they should be picked for this once-in-a-lifetime mission? Were they afraid of blowing up in space?

dearMoon

So we reached out to a ton of U.S. and Canadian applicants via Twitter. We picked 10 to share their stories...

NASA

Mark Gonzales, 37

stand-up comedian

Los Angeles

Mark Gonzales

“Hey, someone’s gotta make everyone laugh! I would be most qualified to tell a story about eight random artists taking a trip to the moon. Hopefully I won’t get heckled by a UFO.”

Mark Gonzales

Colin Davis, 26

outside sales representative

Redondo Beach, California

Colin Davis

“I was elected student body president of my university, so I know what it’s like to lead a large group of people. I was also impeached as student body president, so I have a good sense of humility.”

Colin Davis

M. Elise Jones, 43

letter carrier

Spanaway, Washington

M. Elise Jones

“Going to the moon will show my daughter that we can do anything if we put our minds to it by working hard. Plus, it would be pretty cool to place a Puerto Rican flag and a Seahawks 12th Man flag on the moon.”

M. Elise Jones

George R. Barnes III, 18

student

Milpitas, California

George R. Burns III

“The scariest part of the trip? Leaving home. I’ve only been as far as Texas, and jumping from that to space would be terrifying.”

George R. Burns III

Alexis Smithwick Vear, 50

singer-songwriter/fine artist/art teacher

Atlanta

Fabio Andre Camara

“I would love to sing a song in space doing a live feed and/or make a music video. But just journeying into space and seeing the planets suspended effortlessly in the cosmos would fulfill one of my greatest dreams.”

Fabio Andre Camara

Mark Nwani, 36

senior fraud analyst

Columbus, Ohio

Mark Nwani

“The scariest part? The takeoff. I think it would be a mixture of anxiety, panic, and excitement. The rest would be effortless.”

Mark Nwani

Shawna Pei-Pei-Huang Cupples

multi-expressionist artist

Brooklyn

Shawna Pei-Pei-Huang Cupples

“My mom came to America from a little village in Taiwan to go to USC. She ultimately worked for the Galileo Project as an aerospace engineer. My dad taught me to look up at the stars at night, taught me the constellations.”

Shawna Pei-Pei-Huang Cupples

Shane Ford, 45

truck driver

Kentville, Novia Scotia

Shane Ford

“I hope to get a book deal out of the moon trip. Maybe buy my own transport truck with the proceeds. I’ll continue to take care of my children and show them that absolutely anything is possible.”

Shane Ford

Devin Liu, 15

student

Philadelphia

Devin Liu

“The dearMoon page didn’t mention age restrictions. But by 2023, when the mission launches, I will be 18. Being younger, I have time to think and dream about possibilities and things I can’t yet do.”

Devin Liu

James Austin Murray (aka Jam), 24

artist/musician

Phoenix

Surrealsister Photog

“No, I am not afraid the rocket will blow up. It’s a possibility of course, but what an epic way to go!”

Surrealsister Photog