Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa gave the list of eight people who will accompany him in 2023 on a space trip around the Moon aboard a SpaceX rocket still in development.
The mission, called “dearMoon” (“dear Moon”, in French), was announced in 2018. Yusaku Maezawa had initially announced that he wanted to invite six to eight artists, before opening the places to online applications.
The eight chosen are American DJ and producer Steve Aoki, American YouTuber Tim Dodd, Czech artist Yemi AD, Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam, British photographer Karim Iliya, American documentary filmmaker Brendan Hall, Indian actor Dev Joshi and South Korean singer TOP.
He also named two replacements: American snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese dancer Miyu.
“I hope everyone realizes the responsibility that comes with leaving Earth, traveling to the Moon and back,” Yusaku Maezawa explained on YouTube.
“They will benefit a lot from this experience and I hope they use this to bring to the planet, to humanity.”
According to the mission website, the trip would take six days, without landing on the Moon.
The SpaceX rocket to be used for this mission, Starship, will be the most powerful ever built.
Although it has already successfully conducted atmospheric flights and then managed to land, it has not yet accomplished a test orbital flight. His boss, Elon Musk has repeatedly promised that this will be the case before the end of 2022.
Yusaku Maezawa, the wealthy founder of Japan’s largest online clothing store, flew to the International Space Station last year aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, in exchange, according to the media, for 10 billion yen ($73 million at the current exchange rate).