Vancouver artist Boris Moshenkov has been chosen as a finalist to embark on the first civilian flight to the moon.
Moshenkov is one of 20 finalists chosen for the dearMoon project, which will send eight lucky candidates on a week-long trip around the moon aboard a SpaceX starship in 2023.
“I would consider this to be the most ambitious and probably one of the greatest artistic collaborations ever,” Moshenkov said in a video posted to his Instagram. “That’s what gives me goosebumps every time I think about the project.”
In preparation for his potential trip to the moon, Moshenkov has ‘upped the ante’ on his exercise regime, added hours to his regular meditation practice and has been taking ice baths.
“I want to inch closer to finding peace with discomfort so I can perform well under pressure,” he said.
As an artist, Moshenkov says it’s his job to risk his life to explore the world and outer space so humanity can understand themselves better.
“With the incredible work SpaceX is doing and with new advents in technology we are able to fast-forward ourselves to the answers. We may perhaps not find them this time around, but the ambition is to go as far forward as possible given this opportunity,” Moshenkov said.
The dearMoon project began in 2018, when Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa purchased all seats aboard the rocket with the intent of inviting talented individuals from around the world to join him on a trip to space. Maezawa has said he hopes the trip will inspire artists and creatives onboard the flight.
“What if Basquiat had gone to space and seen the moon up close?” Maezawa asked at a SpaceX press conference in 2018. “There are so many artists with us today that I wish would create amazing works of art for humankind.”
Other finalists include DJ Steve Aoki; Merritt Moore, a professional ballet dancer with a PhD in physics from Oxford University; two-time Pulitzer Prize photographer Essdras Suarez; and Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington, among others.
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