Shoot for the Moon: Las Vegas man finalist for first civilian mission to space

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas man could be next to blast off into space. He is a finalist for the mission that will bring eight artists to the moon, called “Project Dear Moon 8.”

Jon Carmichael has always looked at the world through a different lens. The 35-year-old self-made astrophotographer’s passion for space is evident through his work.

He is most famously known for his capture of the solar eclipse in 2017.

“Can’t believe I had a visual of this all my life, basically, and it came together, and I looked at all the flights around the country and compared them to the moon’s shadow path,” Carmichael told 8 News Now.

His passion for astronomy started at a very young age, but he didn’t pick up a camera until he was 20.

“It started out as using the camera as a tool to see the things I wanted to see,” Carmichael shared.

He chased our solar system across the globe with his camera. This has helped him land as one of the 20 finalists out of 1 million applicants that could go on the first civilian mission to space and the moon.

“The day they announced it, I was brought to tears.”

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, bought eight seats on the rocket, made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Now, he gets to choose who joins him.

Carmichael watched the launch of the Blue Origin and hopes to be next.

“This is what I used to dream about as a kid,” he recounted, “One day, space would be accessible to everyone. That is what is happening; this is the future now.”

The space enthusiast is openly gay. He says his No. 1 goal is to share this experience with people from different backgrounds and capture the moments with them on board and share it back here on Earth.

Carmichael will be notified any day now if he is selected to go on the week-long journey. If this should happen, he will have to spend a year and a half in training to be an astronaut.

The mission is set to launch in 2023.

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