Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa on Friday( 9th November,2022) revealed the eight crew members who will be accompanying him on a voyage to the Moon and back scheduled for next year. Indian actor Dev Joshi,who garnered fame through his portrayal of the character ‘Baalveer’ in the popular television show of the same name, has been chosen as one of the eight crewmates fortunate enough to hitch a ride on the SpaceX rocket’s first ever civilian moon trip.
Yusaku Maezawa founded the online fashion mall,Zozo Inc. in 2004 and is presently one of the richest men in Japan. The 47 year-old business-cum-fashion tycoon had announced his “dearMoon project” in 2018, following which he bought all the seats of the SpaceX rocket as he envisioned picking a handful of talented artists and individuals from all around the world as part of his crew.
This will be Maezawa’s second space journey following his 12-day trip to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft last year. The billionaire used a micro-blogging site to recruit the eight crew members to join him on the moon trip,claiming over a million people had applied.
Besides Dev Joshi, the seven other noteworthy personalities part of Maezawa’s crew include: American DJ Steve Aoki, filmmaker Brendan Hall, YouTuber Tim Dodd, British photographer Karim Illiya, Czech artist Yemi AD, Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam and K-pop star Choi Seung-hyun,better known by his stage name T.O.P. In addition to them, Maezawa had also chosen American Olympic snowboarder Kaitlyn Carrington and Japanese dancer Miyu as backups.
The net cost for the mission hasn’t been disclosed by Maezawa yet,though reports estimate it being close to $80 million. The trip aboard the SpaceX’s Starship is reported to take eight days from launch to return to Earth,including three days to circle the Moon. Despite being scheduled for 2023, it is likely to be delayed due to ongoing tests of the spacecraft and its rockets.