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A K-Pop Star, a DJ and a Japanese Billionaire May Beat NASA to the Moon

Fifty years ago this month, on December 16, 1972, Commander Gene Cernan, Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt and Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans became the last three humans to orbit the Moon as they fired the engine on the command and service module (CSM) and headed back to Earth. NASA’s Artemis 1 mission is on its way back from orbiting the Moon as it completes the first step of a project to send humans back there – Artemis 2 is scheduled to put humans in a lunar orbit again in 2024 and the first landing on the lunar surface since 1972 is scheduled for Artemis 3 in 2025 … if all goes well. Those missions will be crewed by the next generation of NASA astronauts – men, women, people of color – with backgrounds in science, the Moon and space travel. It is a safe bet that none of them are DJs, K-Pop artists, actors or professional snowboarders. Those are just some of the occupations of the newly announced crew of the  “dearMoon” mission scheduled to travel to and orbit the Moon in a SpaceX Starship vehicle in 2023. Will Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa actually beat NASA in putting humans back into lunar orbit?

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