DJ and producer Steve Aoki is set to be amongst the crew for the first civilian flight to the moon, slated for next year. A crew of eight will fly to the moon on a rocket developed by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.
Aoki said of the news, “Since I was a little child I was dreaming of going to the Moon. It’s becoming more and more real every day. Still hard to believe but very excited and grateful for this amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To the Moon!”
The trek is part of the dearMoon Project, which is a lunar tourism and art project started by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. He bought all eight seats in the rocket back in 2018 for the purpose of giving them to “as many talented individuals as possible.”
Over a million people applied to be a part of the project. Joining Maezawa and Aoki are space-centric Youtuber Tim Dodd, Czech multidisciplinary artist Yemi A.D., Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam, photographer Karim Iliya, Indian actor Dev Joshi, documentary filmmaker Brendan Hall, and South Korean rapper Choi Seung Hyun, who goes by the stage name T.O.P.
American Olympic snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese dancer Miyu have been chosen as backups.
Of the project, Maezawa said: “I’m very thrilled to have these amazing people join me on my journey to the Moon and excited to see what inspiring creations they come up with in space.”
Last year, Maezawa and his producer Yozo Hirano became the first self-paying tourists to visit the space station since 2009. Though he has not disclosed the cost for that mission, it is estimated to be around $80 million.
Maezawa made his fortune in retail fashion, launching Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown. Forbes magazine estimates his wealth to be at $1.9 billion. In 2019, he gave up being CEO of his e-commerce company Zozo Inc. to devote his time to space travel.
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images