Four years ago, Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa stood alongside SpaceX chief Elon Musk to announce plans for the first civilian mission to the moon.
At the presentation in 2018, Maezawa said he had covered the costs of the weeklong mission and wanted to invite eight other people to join him on the lunar flyby, a voyage that will likely be similar to NASA’s current Artemis I mission involving the Orion spacecraft.
Last year, the Japanese businessman launched an application process for the trip of a lifetime. Maezawa said then he was interested in hearing from people who think big, particularly when it comes to helping society in some way. He also wanted applicants to be “willing and able to support other crewmembers who share similar aspirations.”
On Thursday, Maezawa confirmed that the search for his fellow crewmembers has now finished as he revealed eight young creatives from around the world. They include DJ Steve Aoki and K-pop star T.O.P. Check out how the selected crew feel about the dearMoon mission in the video at the top of this page.
“I hope each and every one will recognize the responsibility that comes with leaving the Earth, traveling to the moon and back,” Maezawa says in the video. “They will gain a lot from this experience, and I hope they will use that to contribute to the planet, to humanity. But more than anything, I think it’s important that each crew feels that they are enjoying this trip the most, so I hope we can all just have fun.”
The dearMoon mission is currently set for next year and will use SpaceX’s next-generation Starship rocket. However, the Starship has yet to complete its first orbital test flight, so don’t be at all surprised if the launch date slips.
Here’s the list of the eight crewmembers who will join Maezawa on the dearMoon mission, as well as the two backup crewmebers:
Steve Aoki: DJ, two-time Grammy-nominated music producer, artist, fashion designer, entrepreneur, NFT futurist, and philanthropist.
Tim Dodd: Creator of the Everyday Astronaut YouTube channel with 1.34 million subscribers
Yemi A.D.: Founder of JAD Productions, a leading Europe-based creative production company.
Rhiannon Adam: A photographer whose work is based on long-form,= social documentary projects that make use of analog photographic processes and archive materials.
Karim Illiya: A photographer, filmmaker, and whale swimming guide based in Iceland and Hawaii.
Brendan Hall: Documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on adventures that explore the frontiers of our human spirit.
Dev Joshi: A professional actor and social media influencer with more than 18 years of experience in the field of arts and entertainment.
Choi Seung-hyun, aka T.O.P.: A rapper, multihyphenate musician, award-winning film actor, and art collector.
Kaitlyn Farrington (backup): Currently pursuing a degree in business communication, she also won gold in the snowboard halfpipe in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Miyu (backup): A professional dancer, choreographer, and movement practitioner.
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