HomeEntertainmentWhat do a K-Pop star, DJ, American YouTuber and 5 others have...

What do a K-Pop star, DJ, American YouTuber and 5 others have in common? A free trip to the moon.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa (center) and the eight people he selected for his ‘dearMoon project’, plus two chosen as backups, are seen in a promotional image from the dearMoon project website.

project dearmoon

tokyo — Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa said Friday that the K-Pop TOP star will be among eight people to join him on a flyby around the moon in a SpaceX spacecraft next year. The Japanese tycoon launched plans for the lunar journey in 2018, buying all the seats on the spacecraft. The started receiving requests from all over the world in March 2021 for what will be his second spaceflight following his 12-day trip to the International Space Station on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft last year.

The eight people that Maezawa selected for his “project dearmoonThey are TOP, who debuted as the main rapper of the K-Pop group Big Bang; American DJ Steve Aoki; filmmaker Brendan Hall and youtuber Tim Dodd, also from the United States. The other four are British photographer Karim Illiya, Indian actor Dev Joshi, Czech artist Yemi AD and Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam, US Olympic snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese dancer Miyu were chosen as backups.

TOP’s real name is Choi Seung-hyun. The 35-year-old started out as an underground rapper before joining Big Bang, one of the world’s top boy bands, in 2006.

TOP said in a video posted by dearMoon website that he has always fantasized about space and the moon since he was a child and, “I can’t wait.”

“When I finally see the moon closer, I look forward to my personal growth and to return to earth as an artist with an inspiration,” he said.

Maezawa made the announcement on his Twitter and dearMoon Project website on Friday, after he tweeted last week that he had an online meeting with Elon Musk and that his “big space announcement” was underway.

SpaceX gets its first passenger for a future trip to the moon


He and the others would be among the first to ride the SpaceX vehicle. The trip is expected to take about a week. The spacecraft will not make a moon landing, but is expected to come within 120 miles of the moon’s surface while circling the moon for three days.

The trip is expected to take place next year, although the exact schedule has not been revealed.

Last year, Maezawa, 47, and his producer Yozo Hirano they became the first self-paying tourists to visit the space station since 2009. He hasn’t disclosed the cost of that mission, though reports say he paid $80 million.

After a smooth rendezvous, Japanese space tourist Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant, piloted by a Russian commander, docked to the International Space Station for a 12-day stay in 2021.


The billionaire initially launched a high-profile campaign to recruit a soul mate for his first trip to the moon, but after receiving applications from nearly 28,000 potential romantic partners from around the world, disconnected that idea. Maezawa said that she had canceled her participation in the “Full Moon Lovers” project for personal reasons, noting that she was sorry for disappointing those who had applied to appear on the show.

Maezawa made his fortune in fashion retail, launching Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown. In 2019, he stepped down as CEO of e-commerce company Zozo Inc. to devote his time to space travel. Forbes magazine estimates his wealth at $1.9 billion.

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