Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has announced 8 crewmembers, and 2 backups, who will join him on the dearMoon mission. They will be the first humans Starship will launch, fly around the Moon and safely return to Earth next year. Over the course of their weeklong journey, the crew of artists, content creators and athletes from around the world will also travel within 200 km of the lunar surface.
Maezawa purchased all the available seats on the upcoming Moon trip back in 2018 when they became available. In March 2021 he announced his plans of taking 8 artists from across the world to complete his crew, wishing to give as many talented individuals as possible the opportunity to go to space.
More than one million people from 249 countries and regions around the world applied to fly on Starship as part of the dearMoon mission. “This flight is an important step toward enabling access for people who dream of traveling to space. In sharing their experiences flying around the Moon, this crew will inspire everyone back home on Earth, and we look forward to flying them”, SpaceX said in a statement.
The crew will be formed by Steve Aoki, Tim Dodd, Yemi A.D., Karim Iliya, Rhiannon Adam, Brendan Hall, Dev Joshi and T.O.P., with dancer Miyu and snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington as backups.
1. Steve Aoki – DJ / producer
Steve Aoki is a 2 times Grammy-nominated American music producer, artist, fashion designer, entrepreneur, NFT futurist and philanthropist.
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!Steve Aoki
He founded his record label Dim Mak at a very young age, which released influential acts like The Chainsmokers and Bloody Beetroots. Aoki has also collaborated with an extensive list of artists, including BTS, Maluma, Snoop Dogg, Linkin Park. He was awarded by the Guinness World Record as the “Most Travelled Musician in a Single Calendar Year” in 2012, playing over 250 shows per year with performances at every top festival around the world including Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival and Coachella.
He is also a pioneer in the NFT, world creating his own membership community, called A0K1VERSE, as well as a collector co-founding MetaZoo, a trading card game that launched in March 2021.
2. TOP (Choi Seung Hyun) – musician
TOP is a South Korean rapper, multi-hyphenate musician, award-winning film actor, and avid art collector.
As a Korean artist, I want dearMoon to inspire the world, give people hope, and make anyone with a dream feel that anything is possible.TOP
He made his debut in 2007 as the lead rapper of the legendary K-pop group BIGBANG. After BIGBANG’s new single “Still Life” in 2022, TOP is currently preparing his first ever full solo album. As an actor, TOP has starred in ‘Into the Fire’ and ‘Tazza: The Hidden Card’, as well as K-dramas, including ‘I Am Sam’ and ‘Iris’, in which he played leading roles and won various accolades domestically and internationally.
TOP has devoted his life to collecting art since the age of 19. In 2016, he became the first artist ever to curate an art auction in Hong Kong when he collaborated with world-renowned art auction house Sotheby’s and was selected as one of the ‘top 50 collectors to watch’ by ARTnews.
3. Yemi A.D. – choreographer
Yemi A.D. is a Czech choreographer who has designed, choreographed and directed shows and campaigns for Apple, Google, Mercedes Benz, the VMA’s, SNL and CBS.
I’m doing this to remind all the creative kids out there: It doesn’t matter how you start your journey, but where you aim. We will prove that with imagination, there is no limit to your potential!Yemi A.D.
Yemi has been dedicated to creating opportunities for disadvantaged children in Indonesia, India and Nigeria and was appointed as Czech Goodwill Ambassador by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2019. In 2020 he founded Moonshot Platform Inc., a U.S. based non-profit organization, whose mission is to seek and accelerate young emerging leaders and their endeavours around the world, seeking solutions to 21st Century Grand Challenges and Sustainable Development Goals focused innovations.
4. Rhiannon Adam – photographer
Rhiannon Adam is an Irish photographic artist, whose work is cantered on research-based, long-form, social documentary projects that make use of analogue photographic processes and archive materials.
Every day I pinch myself; it seems like an impossible dream coming true. I aim to create work that does justice to this transformative experience.Rhiannon Adam
Adam’s early life experiences have had a lasting influence on her work, with a focus on remote communities, the concept of utopia and the fine line between fact and fiction. Her work has been published widely in the press, including Le Monde, The Telegraph, the BBC, The British Journal of Photography, Stern, Huffington Post, and the New York Times.
She is the author of three books – Big Fence / Pitcairn Island (Blow Up Press, 2021), Dreamlands / Wastelands (Jane & Jeremy, 2014) and an exhaustive resource on instant photography, Polaroid: The Missing Manual (Thames & Hudson, 2017, reprinted 2022).
5. Tim Dodd – youtuber
Tim Dodd is an American content creator, photographer, videographer and musician.
Never in a million years did I think I would get the chance to fly around the moon, but I can’t wait to bring everyone with me.Tim Dodd
After graduating Cedar Falls High School, he began producing videos and photos to help pay for his education. In 2013, Dodd began a photography project called “Everyday Astronaut,” featuring himself in a Russian high altitude flight suit as a whimsical wanderlusting astronaut. In 2017, he took Everyday Astronaut to YouTube where it quickly grew into a leading source for aerospace information, livestreams and interviews.
Tim’s mission is to “Bring space down to Earth for everyday people”; he specializes in digesting complex aerospace topics and making them more understandable for the average person through deeply researched and highly visual videos.
6. Karim Iliya – photographer
Karim Iliya is a British photographer, filmmaker and whale swimming guide based in Iceland and Hawaii.
As I document this incredible journey and share this story, I hope to grow and understand how to do my part to make things better for all life on Earth.Karim Iliya
Iliya uses photography and video to show a unique perspective and uncover new underwater worlds that few have the opportunity to see. His focus is on documenting whales, birds and other threatened species in an effort to advocate for the protection of delicate ecosystems on Earth for generations to come.
He has worked in over 45 countries, won multiple awards, been published in National Geographic Magazine and BBC Earth, and co-founded Kogia, a non-profit media library and film team dedicated to ocean conservation.
7. Brendan Hall – filmmaker
Brendan Hall is an American documentary filmmaker telling stories about the natural world and beyond. His projects have brought viewers on adventures that explore the frontiers of our human spirit, from following a remote medical expedition through the Amazon rainforest to scientists unearthing woolly mammoth bones in Siberia.
It’s an incredible honour to be a part of this team and help share an inside perspective of our mission.Brendan Hall
After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he began his career assisting with development at the National Geographic Channel. He has since travelled the world directing projects for global non-profits and brands including National Geographic, Google, Adobe and The Nature Conservancy. He has also contributed cinematography to documentaries on Netflix and PBS including Bill Nye: Science Guy and Red Heaven.
8. Dev D. Joshi – actor
Dev D. Joshi is an Indian actor and social media influencer.
Always Be positive and Be passionate, because Miracles happen, and they happen anytime, which came in the form of dearMoon for me!Dev D. Joshi
Known for his portrayal of an Indian superhero, “Baalveer,” Joshi has influenced the masses across the world through his character, spreading the message of truth and goodness in society. He was honoured by the President of India with the “Bal Shakti Puraskar” (2019), the highest civilian honour in India under the age of 18.