A Japanese billionaire chose a commercial DJ, a K-pop musician, and a space YouTuber for a private SpaceX flight, which will take them on a round around the Moon.
Businessman Yusaku Maezawa unveiled his team on Friday after searching the world for artists the previous year.
The most well-known choices are Korean superstar TOP and American DJ Steve Aoki.
The flight, which is slated for next year, might mark the return of humans to the moon since 1972.
In the proposed fly-by, a spaceship would circle the moon and approach it 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the surface. Eight days would pass between launch and return on the journey.
However, the SpaceX Starship rocket that the crew is intended to launch on has not yet received approval from US authorities.
After successfully completing a test launch in May 2021, the ship has been stuck in Texas for the past 18 months without even receiving approval for an orbital tour around the planet.
But in his video announcing the crew for the mission he’s dubbed dearMoon, Mr. Maezawa made no mention of this delay.
Mr. Maezawa is seen gazing up at the moon in the opening shot while in a Japanese garden. The first crew member, DJ Aoki, is then shown at one of his performances after the cut.
The Billboard-charting performer adds in the video, “I can’t miss this opportunity. My soul is begging for this,” the Billboard-charting artist says in the video.
— 前澤友作@MZDAO (@yousuck2020) December 8, 2022
YouTuber Tim Dodd, also known as the Everyday Astronaut, who has 1.4 million internet followers for his instructive films on space travel and astrophysics, is the next passenger to be made public.
The vlogger expressed shock at being chosen in a video he posted on Friday. In 2017, SpaceX announced that it will transport a human to the moon. According to the speaker, this statement was “ironically, or poetically… what got me started making films on Youtube.”
The additional dearMoon mission participants 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)
Back-ups included Japanese dancer Miyu and Olympic snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington from the United States.
“I hope each and every one will recognise the responsibility that comes with leaving the Earth, travelling to the moon and back,” Mr Maezawa said.
“They will gain a lot from this experience and I hope they will use that to contribute to the planet, to humanity.”
Mr. Maezawa, who amassed wealth working for the online clothing company Zozo, has emerged as a key figure in the commercial space industry. He spent 12 days aboard the International Space Station last year using a Russian rocket.
He was announced as SpaceX’s first private passenger for a mission to orbit the moon in 2018 and pledged to cover the costs of the other eight passengers.
Although the cost of Mr. Maezawa’s space ticket has not been made public, Mr. Musk claimed that it was “a lot of money.”
He also started a documentary hunt for a new partner in 2020 before calling off the quest due to “mixed sentiments.”