A Japanese billionaire and businessman, Yusaku Maezawa, revealed his crew on Friday for a private SpaceX flight after a global search for creative individuals last year. American DJ Steve Aoki and Korean star TOP are the most high-profile picks.
The opening scene of the video that announced the crew shows Mr. Maezawa in a Japanese garden looking up at the moon. It then cuts to show the first crew member – DJ Aoki – at one of his shows.
“I can’t miss this opportunity. My soul is begging for this,” the Billboard-charting artist says in the video.
The next passenger revealed is Youtuber Tim Dodd – also known as the Everyday Astronaut. He has 1.4 million followers online for his educational videos on spaceflight and astrophysics.
The other announced dearMoon mission members are:
TOP (Choi Seung hyun), a K-pop rapper and former lead of boyband Big Bang (South Korea)
Dancer and choreographer Yemi A.D (Czech Republic)
Photographer Rhiannon Adam (Ireland)
Wildlife photographer Karim Iliya (UK)
Filmmaker Brendan Hall (US)
Actor Dev Joshi (India)
The mission, called dearMoon, was first announced in 2018. Maezawa initially aimed to take a group of artists with him on a six-day trip around the moon but later announced he had expanded his definition of an “artist.” Instead, he said he would be open to people from all walks of life as long as they viewed themselves as artists.
The flight, scheduled for next year, could be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972. However, US regulators are yet to give permission for the Starship rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.
The proposed fly-by would see a spacecraft circle the moon, coming within 200km (124 miles) of the surface. The trip would take eight days from launch to return.