Japanese Billionaire Chooses Eight to Go to Space with Him



Kevin Han

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, released the list of people he will bring on a week-long trip to the Moon. Born on November 22, 1975, he is a Japanese entrepreneur, art collector, and astronaut. On September 17, 2018, it was announced that Maezawa would be the first commercial passenger to do a flyby around the moon on a SpaceX starship, which has been in development since 2017.

Maezawa had originally planned to take around eight artists with him as a part of an art project he titled “#dearMoon”—a lunar tourism mission and art project planned and financed by him. However, in March 2021, he changed the requirement to include members of the public who view themselves as artists. Maezawa stated that applicants should be seeking to “push the envelope” in their field of work by going to space “to help other people and greater society in some way,” and they should be willing to support their fellow crew members during the journey. A few days ago, he released the crew that will follow him into space. Maezawa said he selected the crew members out of a million applicants. The crew boasts geographic diversity, including the United States, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and India. The age of the crew ranges from 22 to 47, with the majority being men.

The main crew consists of Maezawa himself, Rhiannon Adam (an Irish photographer), Steve Aoki (an American music producer), Yemi A.D. (a Czech choreographer), Tim Dodd (an American YouTuber), Brendan Hall (an American filmmaker), Karim Iliya (a British photographer), Choi Seung Hyun (aka TOP, a South Korean singer), and Dev D. Joshi (an Indian actor).

Although the dearMoon crew will not land on the Moon, they will fly in an orbital trajectory around it on a private SpaceX Starship spacecraft. According to the official website, the crew will prepare and train for their journey during 2023 and lift off sometime during this year as well.

Maezawa stated that he is “very thrilled to have these amazing people join [him] on [his] journey to the moon and excited to see what inspiring creations they come up with in space” on dearMoon.earth, the official website.