Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Indian actor Dev Joshi to join Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa’s crew for SpaceX moon trip

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa on Friday announced the name of eight crew members who will join him on a trip around the Moon next year on Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets.

The eight people chosen for the journey were DJ and producer Steve Aoki of the United States; Tim Dodd, an American YouTuber; Czech artist Yemi AD; Rhiannon Adam, an Irish photographer; British photographer Karim Iliya; American filmmaker Brendan Hall and Indian actor Dev Joshi, and K-pop musician TOP of South Korea.

Maezawa bought every seat on the maiden lunar voyage, which has been in the works since 2018 and would follow his trip on a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 12-day stint last year.

The picks were announced by Maezawa on Twitter and at a website for what he dubbed the #dearMoon Project.

Maezawa and his crew would become the first passengers on the SpaceX flyby of the moon as commercial firms, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, usher in a new age of space travel for wealthy clients.

The mission aboard SpaceX’s Starship vehicle will take eight days from launch to return to earth, including three days circling the moon, coming within 200 kilometres from the lunar surface. Though the flight was scheduled for 2023, it is facing delays due to ongoing tests of the spacecraft and its rockets.

Maezawa has a flare for promotion and an infatuation with Twitter — he has boasted to holding the Guinness world record for the most retweeted post, when he offered a cash prize of 1 million yen ($7300) to 100 winners for retweeting it.

The billionaire used the micro-blogging site to recruit eight crew members from around the world to join him on the moon trip, saying 1 million people had applied.

Maezawa updated about the lunar expedition on Monday, tweeting he’d held an online meeting with Musk and was readying a “big announcement about space.”

Maezawa made his fortune founding the online fashion retailer Zozo Inc, in which Softbank Group Corp’s internet business is now the top shareholder.

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