Female artist-scientist is named a finalist for one of the eight seats on SpaceX flight to the moon

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Dr Tracy Fanara is a scientist who studies all aspects of Earth, but she may leave the planet and travel into space aboard Elon Musk‘s SpaceX rocket.

Fanara is a finalist in Project dearMoon, which is a spaceflight purchased by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa who plans to take eight people with him around the moon in 2023.

‘I did not sleep for like six weeks going through the process,’ Fanara told DailyMail.com 

‘Lets just say, going through the process and getting to each step is just crazy. To think you might actually be apart of something so much bigger than yourself.’ 

Along with being a perfect candidate for the mission, according to her former college professors, Fanara has a long list of achievements on Earth. 

She is an engineer and research scientist with a PhD from the University of Florida, has spent the past six years managing the Environmental Health research program at Mote Marine Laboratory and is now the Coastal Modeling manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

However, when Fanara is not working in a lab, she can be found creating space-themed art,  rapping and was featured in Marvel’s Unstoppable Wasp comic.  

‘I’m so incredibly humbled to be considered for this incredible opportunity,’ Fanara shared in an Instagram post after hearing news that she was selected as a finalist.

‘To be part of an international mission to do something that was once so… not collaborative. Everything and everyone in this world is connected and to be part of some thing that represents that connection is powerful.’

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Dr Tracy Fanara, 41, is a scientist who studies all aspects of the Earth, but she could soon leave our planet and travel into space aboard Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket

Dr Tracy Fanara, 41, is a scientist who studies all aspects of the Earth, but she could soon leave our planet and travel into space aboard Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket

Fanara is originally from Buffalo, New York, but currently lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Before she began on a mission to save Earth, her first job was selling rocks at 8 years old and then she moved on to cellphones at 14.

Her love of science also began at the age of 14 when an incident known as Love Canal in her hometown.

‘Hazardous waste was being dumped at a canal in my town and it was coming from industries,’ Fanara told DailyMail.com.

Fanara is a finalist in Project dearMoon, which is a spaceflight purchased by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa who plans to take eight people with him around the moon in 2023

Fanara is a finalist in Project dearMoon, which is a spaceflight purchased by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa who plans to take eight people with him around the moon in 2023

She is an engineer and research scientist with a PhD from the University of Florida, has sent the past six years managing the Environmental Health research program at Mote Marine Laboratory and is now the Coastal Modeling manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

She is an engineer and research scientist with a PhD from the University of Florida, has sent the past six years managing the Environmental Health research program at Mote Marine Laboratory and is now the Coastal Modeling manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

‘People were getting cancer and the area saw high rates of birth defects.’ 

‘Even though this happened before I was born, the impact still lived on, with several people getting cancer in their 30s.

‘Learning about this incident showed me everything is connected – what you put in the environment comes back.’  

A few years after learning this, she learned that unsafe water was killing children worldwide.

Both of these horrible events ‘lit a fire’ in her, leading her to find her passion. 

However, she is now in the running for a trip around the moon and is up against hundreds of thousands of competitors, including an Olympic athlete  and even DJ Steve Aoki.

‘I hope that with list of people who are are incorrectly impactful and  talented together we can start a movement connectivity of earth and space,’ Fanara said.

‘What we have to do to proact the quality of future generations.

‘I have complete faith in SpaceX engineers and the reward is to possibly make an impact using art and science together to make the world a better place.’

Pictured is Fanara on the cover of Marvel's The Unstoppable Wasp comic book

Pictured is Fanara on the cover of Marvel’s The Unstoppable Wasp comic book

There will be between ten and 12 people on board the ship in total, including Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX crew and the eight volunteers. The crew will launch aboard SpaceX's massive rocket

There will be between ten and 12 people on board the ship in total, including Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX crew and the eight volunteers. The crew will launch aboard SpaceX’s massive rocket

The spaceflight was purchased by Maezawa, who initial spent the money with the hopes of finding a female companion to accompany him during the lunar mission. But he cancelled the hunt in January last year despite 27,722 women applying, saying he had reservations about the idea

The spaceflight was purchased by Maezawa, who initial spent the money with the hopes of finding a female companion to accompany him during the lunar mission.

But he canceled the hunt in January 2020, despite 27,722 women applying, saying he had reservations about the idea. 

Maezawa decided to offer seven seats to friends and one which will be awarded in the contest Fanara entered.

Project dearMoon is expected to take three days to reach the Moon, loop around it, and three days to return to Earth, Maezawa said.

There will be between ten and 12 people on board the ship in total, including Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX crew and the eight volunteers.

Maezawa and his band of astronauts will become the first lunar voyagers since the last US Apollo mission in 1972 – if SpaceX can pull the trip off.

It could be a close race with NASA though, as the US space agency is presently scheduled to launch Artemis II in the summer of 2023 – this will see a crew fly on the Orion spacecraft around the moon then journey back to Earth.

However, even if NASA does beat Maezawa to a 2023 lunar joyride, his passengers will still be the first civilians to go further than low Earth orbit.

The journey rests on the shoulders of SpaceX as it is dependent on Starship being flight ready by 2023.



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