Japanese billionaire picks 8 artists for ‘first civilian space mission’ to moon; Indian actor Dev Joshi in crew

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced the names of eight crew members who will accompany him on the ‘dearMoon’ mission, a planned journey around the moon in 2023 onboard a SpaceX rocket. Indian actor Dev Joshi is one of the 8 lucky persons on the planet to accompany Maezawa on the journey to the moon and back.

Maezawa, who made a fortune as an online fashion retailer, had said he would announce the names of his crew members for the dearMoon mission, but later change the entry requirements to a competition that applicants could apply for online.

The eight crew members of the dearMoon mission are American DJ and producer Steve Aoki, American YouTuber Tim Todd; Czech artist Yemi AD; Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam; British photographer Karim Iliyal; American filmmaker Brendan Hall; Indian actor Dev Joshi and South Korean K-pop artist TOP.

“It’s been a year and a half since MZ first opened the dearMoon admission to the public in search of artists to join him on this lunar orbital mission. After numerous interviews, medical checks and face-to face gatherings, we are finally ready to announce the crew members who will be joining MZ on this extraordinary trip to the moon on SpaceX’s Starship,” Maezawa said.

Each crew member was briefly introduced in a video posted online by Maezawa.

“I hope each and every one will recognize the responsibility that comes with leaving the Earth, travelling to the moon and back,” Maezawa says in the video in Japanese, with a translation provided in-video.

The dearMoon website describes the project as “first civilian mission to take place in 2023”. The rocket developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX will make a week-long journey to the Moon and back.Maezawa purchased all the seats aboard the rocket in 2018, with hopes to give artists across the globe an opportunity to travel to moon, he said in 2021.

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