Japanese billionaire picks K-pop star and DJ to join SpaceX moon trip

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Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced on Friday that K-pop star TOP and DJ Steve Aoki will be among eight crew members that Elon Musk plans to take on a trip around the moon next year by hitchhiking one of his SpaceX rockets. .

Maezawa has purchased every seat on its first lunar voyage, which has been studied since 2018 and will follow its 12-day voyage to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Soyuz spacecraft last year.

The selections were announced by Maezawa on Twitter and on a website he calls the #dearMoon Project.

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The fashion mogul and his crew would be the first passengers on SpaceX’s flight to the Moon, as commercial firms including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin ushered in a new era of space travel for wealthy clients.

The mission aboard SpaceX’s Starship vehicle is scheduled to take eight days from launch to return to Earth, including three days by orbiting the Moon within 200 kilometers of the lunar surface. Although the flight is scheduled for 2023, it is encountering delays due to ongoing testing of the spacecraft and rockets.

Like his billionaire fellow Musk, Maezawa has a glee for promotion and a penchant for Twitter – he boasted holding the Guinness world record for most retweeted post when he offered a cash prize of 1 million yen ($7300) to 100 winners. retweet.

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Maezawa used the microblogging site to recruit eight crew members from around the world to join him on the moon voyage, saying 1 million had applied.

Choi Seung Hyun’s stage name TOP, who debuted with the K-pop group Big Bang, is among the high-profile members selected along with his father, Japanese-American musician and DJ Aoki, who founded the Benihana restaurant chain.

“I am very proud and responsible to be the first Korean civilian to land on the moon,” TOP said in a video released after the announcement.

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Indian actor Dev Joshi was among the names chosen for the group, mostly artists and photographers. US Olympic snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese dancer Miyu were selected as reserve crew members.

Maezawa, 47, marked an update on the lunar expedition by tweeting that he held an online meeting with Musk on Monday and prepared a “big announcement about space.”

Maezawa made his fortune by founding Zozo Inc 3092.T, the online fashion retailer in which Softbank Group Corp’s 9984.T internet business is now the largest shareholder.



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