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

Dr Tracy Fanara, 41, 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.

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 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 (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

Fanara is originally from Buffalo, New York, but currently lives in Gainesville, Florida with her husband Ryan Westerberg.  

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 she learned a companies had dumped hazardous waste into a canal, known as Love Canal, near her hometown.

'Toxins leached into the soil and groundwater and migrated. People build houses and schools near this site and the community saw high rates of birth defects and cancer,' Fanara said during an interview with Babes who Hustle.

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

  'Love Canal was the incident that initiated the EPA Superfund program—and my understanding of how everything in this world is connected. Although this happened before I was born, it affected my friends' parents.

'This is when I first saw the connection between our actions and the environment, and then, how those actions come back to affect our health.'

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.

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

'When I heard about a field of study where you got to design ways to provide clean water and air, make sure there is enough food, protect people from natural and manmade disasters and invent the world you want to see, I said: 'Sign me up. I want to be a superhero. I want to be an environmental engineer,' Fanara said.

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.

'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 told Fox13 News.

'I wouldn't take this opportunity for granted.

'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.

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

'All of our earth systems and our space systems, it's all interconnected.'

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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