In March 2021, Yusaku Maezawa, the space-obsessed Japanese billionaire behind e-commerce web site Zozotown, introduced a contest to pick eight civilian crew members to affix him on a personal spaceflight. The week-long mission, known as pricey moonwill fly across the moon and return on a SpaceX Starship in 2023.
One particular person paying explicit consideration to Maezawa's mission was Tim Dodd, an expert photographer turned area YouTuber from Iowa. Also called On a regular basis Astronaut, Dodd has a YouTube channel with 1.37 million subscribers the place he covers private and non-private rocket launches that happen world wide.
“I've determined, Sure why not? I'll submit an utility“, stated Dodd. He made a video explaining why he needed to take part in dearMoon however by no means thought he would qualify for the final eight. “I had not even thought-about the potential for going there”, he stated “I actually felt prefer it was too good a chance to cross up.”
Regardless of the percentages – Maezawa stated greater than 1,000,000 folks utilized for the lunar mission – Dodd was introduced as one of many crew members earlier this month, alongside musician Steve Aoki, from Ok-pop artist TOP, Indian actor Dev Joshi and 4 others. They are going to accompany Maezawa, who flew to the Worldwide Area Station final yr aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. The crew members have handed complete well being checks and a litany of assessments, however they nonetheless must endure months of rigorous coaching.
Earlier this yr, Coby Cotton from YouTube channel Dude Good went into suborbital area on a Blue Origin mission, however Dodd would be the first full-time YouTuber to journey to area. “I've an opportunity to push these limits a little bit additional by going to the moon,” Dodd stated. (The mission is not going to really land on the lunar floor.)
“It is loopy to think about going 240,000 miles from residence,” he stated. “How do you actually put together bodily and mentally for this? It is so absurd. To undergo all of this and have this expertise, to see it and really feel it, after which to undergo the re-entry and touchdown part and know that you simply're protected on Earth and at residence, I feel the feelings shall be so sturdy that I do not assume you can perform.
To qualify for the ultimate eight, Dodd underwent a number of Zoom interviews with the dearMoon mission. Among the many questions posed to Dodd and others was what they may contribute to the mission. “I am like, ‘Truthfully, I don't know,'” he recalled. “”I may simply sit there and cry for like two days. “”Jokes apart, Dodd touted his abilities as a photographer and videographer, in addition to his spatial experience. “I can talk,” he stated. “I can assist clarify to the crew what is going on on.”