Eight celebrities to join Japanese tycoon in space venture around the moon

Eight celebrities have been chosen to join eccentric Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa next year on an ambitious plan to fly around the moon.

Maezawa announced on Twitter today that he will be accompanied by an unorthodox crew of DJ and producer Steve Aoki of the United States, US YouTuber Tim Dodd, Czech artist Yemi AD, Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam, British photographer Karim Iliya, US moviemaker Brendan Hall, Bollywood star Dev Joshi, and K-pop musician TOP of South Korea. US snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese dancer Miyu have agreed to be backup crew members.

Maezawa said…

“I hope each and everyone will recognise the responsibility that comes with leaving the Earth, travelling to the moon and back.

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“They will gain a lot from this experience, and I hope they will use that to contribute to the planet, to humanity.”

The SpaceX rocket mission known as dearMoon would last about six days and circumnavigate the moon without landing.

The SpaceX rocketship has passed all test flights within the atmosphere and successfully landed but it has yet to carry out an orbital test flight – something founder Elon Musk promised will happen by the end of this year.

The 47 year old entrepreneur experienced a space trip when flying to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz rocket last December, reportedly paying 10 billion yen (US$73 million) for the privilege.

Maezawa founded Start Today in 1998 and launched the online fashion retail website Zozotown in 2004, now Japan’s largest. Most recently, Maezawa introduced a custom-fit apparel brand ZOZO and an at-home measurement system, the ZOZOSUIT, in 2018. In December 2021 Forbes estimated he has a net worth of US$2.0 billion.

Maezawa is the founder of the Tokyo-based Contemporary Art Foundation, which he started in 2012 with the goal of “supporting young artists as a pillar of the next generation of contemporary art.”

He came to public attention in 2016 for the US$57.3 record purchase of an artwork of a devil by Jean-Michel Basquiat and broke the record again in May 2017 with a US$110.5 million auction bid for another of Basquiat’s work, a skull.

In the future, Maezawa plans to open a contemporary art museum in Chiba, which will house his collection.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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