Bay Area scientist selected as finalist for SpaceX’s first civilian mission to the moon

As an environmental engineer and ocean scientist, Dr. Tracy Fanara wears a lot of hats – and one of them could soon be an astronaut’s helmet.

"I didn’t sleep for six weeks. During the whole process, nights upon nights of no sleep because of the pure excitement and thinking about this mission," she shared.

Dr. Fanara could get a seat on Elon Musk's SpaceX lunar mission. The company's first civilian mission to the moon is scheduled to launch in 2023.

"Knowing I am one of these very few who have made it this far, it’s really humbling because this is such a huge mission and it means so much to so many people," Fanara explained.  

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It's part of "Project Dear Moon." Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa bought eight seats on the rocket. He's working to choose artists that can commemorate the mission and Fanara is a finalist out of one million applicants from across the world. Her art comes from her passion for science.

"Every part of what I do whether it’s making videos or communicating or creating sustainable designs, all of it is art and it’s a huge part of science," Fanara commented.

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Contenders for the flight include an Olympic athlete, photographers and even DJ Steve Aoki. 

Whether it's rapping, her comic book, or working to inspire others, if she's chosen, Fanara's ready to blast off on the mission designed to bring people together.

"I wouldn't take this opportunity for granted," she said. "I would do what I can to bring all of these countries together on a mission to extend humanity's time on earth to preserve our lives and livelihoods because everybody is connected. All of our earth systems and our space systems it’s all interconnected."

LINK: For more information on "Dear Moon" visit

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