Meet The YouTuber Everyday Astronaut, Who's Actually Going To The Moon Next Year


 “It’s insane to consider going 240,000 miles away from home,” the 37-year-old said.

In March 2021, Yusaku Maezawa, the space-obsessed Japanese billionaire behind the e-commerce site Zozotown, introduced a contest to choose eight civilian crew members to join him on a private spaceflight. The weeklong mission, called dearMoon, will fly across the moon and again on a SpaceX Starship someday in 2023.

One person paying particularly shut consideration to Maezawa’s mission was Tim Dodd, a skilled photographer turned space YouTuber from Iowa. Also known as Everyday Astronaut, Dodd has a YouTube channel with 1.37 million subscribers the place he covers the private and non-private rocket launches taking place across the world.

“I decided, Yeah, why not? I’ll submit an application,” Dodd said. He made a video explaining why he desired to participate in dearMoon however by no means thought he’d make it to the ultimate eight. “I hadn't even remotely considered the possibility of going,” he said. “I actually simply felt prefer it was an alternative too good to pass up.”

Despite the odds — Maezawa said greater than 1 million people utilized for the moon mission — Dodd was introduced as one of many crew members earlier this month, alongside musician Steve Aoki, K-pop artist T.O.P, Indian actor Dev Joshi, and 4 others. They will accompany Maezawa, who final year flew to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. The crew members have handed full well being checks and a litany of tests, however they nonetheless have to undergo months of rigorous training.

Earlier this year, Coby Cotton of the YouTube channel Dude Perfect went into suborbital space on a Blue Origin mission, however Dodd would be the primary full-time YouTuber to journey into outer space. “I have an alternative of pushing these boundaries a little bit additional by going out to the moon,” Dodd said. (The mission will not actually land on the lunar surface.)

“It’s insane to consider going 240,000 miles away from home,” he said. “How do you bodily and mentally truly put together for that? It’s so absurd. To undergo all that and live in that experience, to see it and really feel it after which to undergo the reentry and touchdown phase and know you’re safe on Earth and again home, I think the feelings will simply be so excessive I don’t think you’ll be able to function.”

To make it to the ultimate eight, Dodd underwent a quantity of Zoom interviews with the dearMoon project. Among the questions Dodd and others were requested was what they could bring to the mission. “I'm like, ‘Honestly, I have no idea,’” he recalled. “‘I might simply sit there and weep for like two days.’” Jokes aside, Dodd touted his photography and videography skills, in addition to his space expertise. “I can communicate,” he said. “I can assist clarify to the crew what goes on on.”

Maezawa, 47, acknowledged the significance of Dodd’s communication skills. “He’s probably the most well-known space YouTuber within the US,” Maezawa said in a assertion to BuzzFeed News. “He additionally provides live commentary for each rocket launch. So I hope he'll be dearMoon's publicist and an announcer who will present live commentary.”

Prior to making use of to dearMoon, Dodd had by no means actually desired to participate in a mission — he knew an excessive amount of about the dangers involved. He’s personally witnessed a variety of SpaceX Starship explosions. “I’ve so far felt 4 of the prototypes blow up,” Dodd said. “Like, literally, bodily felt the explosions of them.” Yet he’s assured that by the point dearMoon is set to launch, issues will be OK. “They’re going to have flown dozens of times earlier than any people get on board.”

Dodd got the chance to meet a few of his future crewmates a year ago, when they watched Maezawa take off to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. But the full dearMoon crew haven’t but met in person. “Some of the issues were fairly restricted by COVID,” Dodd said, “and we’re speaking about people from throughout the world.”

Dodd is keen for the history-making mission itself. “Think about what quantity of of these people are going to be the primary people from their nation to not solely go to space, potentially, however to go to the moon,” he said. “There's so far solely been 27 people from the United States who went to the moon. To see people from throughout the world having the ability to expertise this and expand on that's going to be huge.”


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