New York: A commercial DJ, K-pop rapper, and a space YouTuber are to go on a trip around the Moon, after they were picked by a Japanese billionaire for a private SpaceX flight.
Businessman Yusaku Maezawa revealed his crew on Friday after a global search for creative individuals last year.
American DJ Steve Aoki and Korean star TOP are the most high-profile picks.
Maezawa is founder of Zozotown, Japan’s largest online fashion retailer. He will act as crew leader and will be joined by DJ/producer Steve Aoki, K-pop star Choi Seung-hyun (known as T.O.P.), photographer Rhiannon Adam, choreographer/performer Yemi AD and documentary filmmaker Brendan Hall. YouTube creator Tim Dodd, known as Everyday Astronaut, is also on the roster along with photographer Karim Iliya and actor Dev Joshi.
The flight, scheduled for next year, could be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972.
The proposed fly-by would see a spacecraft circle the moon, coming within 200km (124 miles) of the surface. The trip would take eight days from launch to return.
However, US regulators are yet to give permission for the Starship rocket from Elon Musk’s SpaceX company that the crew is supposed to travel on.
The ship has not even been approved for an orbital journey around the Earth and has been grounded for the past 18 months in Texas, after it completed a test launch in May 2021.