Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has revealed which eight crew members he wants to take on a tour of the moon next year.
On Friday, Maezawa announced that K-pop star TOP and DJ Steve Aoki will be part of his crew on one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets.
Maezawa bought every seat on the first lunar trip, which has been in the works since 2018 and would follow last year for a 12-day stay on a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).
The selection was announced by Maezawa on Twitter and on the project’s website, which he dubbed the #dearMoon project.
The fashion mogul and his crew would become the first passengers on SpaceX’s flyby of the moon, while commercial ventures, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, usher in a new era of space travel for wealthy customers.
The crew includes Rhiannon Adam, 37, a native of Cork and based in Hackney.
Adam defeated more than a million rivals to secure a spot on the first civilian voyage to the moon and is one of eight artists and creatives chosen by Japanese billionaire art collector Yusaku Maezawa to take part in the journey.
Mission chiefs said Adam will be the first distinctly alien woman to fly into space.
The journey, dubbed DearMoon, will take place next year aboard Starship, a rocket being developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The mission aboard SpaceX’s Starship vehicle is expected to last eight days from launch to return to Earth, including three days around the moon, within 200 kilometers of the lunar surface.
Although the flight was scheduled for 2023, it has been delayed due to ongoing testing of the spacecraft and its missiles.
Like fellow billionaire Musk, Maezawa has a push for promotion and is in love with Twitter, where he holds the Guinness World Record for the most retweeted post when he offered 100 winners a cash prize of 1 million yen (£5,955) for retweeting.
Maezawa used the microblogging site to recruit eight crew members from around the world to join him on the lunar journey, saying 1 million people signed up.
TOP, the stage name of Choi Seung Hyun, who broke from K-pop group Big Bang, is one of the selected members with a higher profile alongside Aoki, a Japanese-American musician and DJ whose father founded the Benihana restaurant chain.
Indian actor Dev Joshi was also among the favorites of the group, which mainly consisted of artists and photographers. American Olympic snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese dancer Miyu were named as reserve team members.
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