Meet the team of artists, athletes, and a billionaire traveling on a SpaceX spacecraft to the moon.

A group of nine people are planning a unique mission around the moon.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced on December 8, 2022, that nine crew members, including himself, will travel to orbit the moon on a SpaceX spacecraft. The flight date has not yet been confirmed.

Maezwawa invited artists from all over the world to apply for the opportunity and said that these people have no scientific experimentation or other responsibilities other than the mission’s basic security obligations.

“I hope everyone understands the responsibility involved in leaving the Earth, traveling to the moon and back,” Maezawa said in a promotional video in Japanese, with translation provided in the video.

Singers, dancers, a YouTube star and athletes are among the eight crew members and two alternates selected for the flight. Read more about them below; their biographies are based on information from the DearMoon website. (will open in a new tab).

1. Yusaku Maezawa, billionaire fashion retailer

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire, finances an expensive moon to fly himself and 8 crew members. (Image credit:

Yusaku Maezawa, 47 when the DearMoon team was announced, is a Japanese billionaire who made his fortune with an online fashion store. He covers the costs of DearMoon, but how much he pays has not been disclosed.

The DearMoon project was announced in 2018 in collaboration with SpaceX following a controversial “girl contest” for a now-defunct space mission. Applications for DearMoon opened in August 2021 and there were no specific eligibility requirements at that time other than artistic aspirations.

Maezawa flew into space for 12 days in December 2021, paying for tickets to and from the International Space Station for himself and his videographer Yozo Hirano; various Russian cosmonauts flew it on the Soyuz spacecraft during launch and landing.

2. Rhiannon Adam, photographer

Dear Team Moon Rhiannon Adam. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Rhiannon Adam, aged 37 at the time of selection, is an Irish-born photographer based in London and the United States. She has been nomadic since 1992, when her parents bought a sailboat (named Jannes) to circumnavigate the world. She studied at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design and the University of Cambridge. Awards include the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography and one of the 2019 Photo Gallery New Talents.

“Riannon’s work focuses on research, widescreen, social documentary projects that use analog photographic processes and archival material. utopia and the fine line between fact and fiction,” says the DearMoon website.

3. Steve Aoki, DJ/Producer

Dear Moon Team Member Steve Aoki. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Steve Aoki, 45, born in Miami, is a music producer, artist, fashion designer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the founder of the record company Dim Mak, known for such bands as The Chainsmokers and Bloody Beetroots. His artist collaborations include BTS, Maluma, Snoop Dogg, Linkin Park, and more.

Aoki’s awards include the Guinness World Record for “Most Traveled Musician in a Single Calendar Year” in 2012. His performances have been featured at Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival and Coachella. He also dabbles in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a controversial form of establishing art ownership through blockchain technology.

4. Yemi AD, multidisciplinary creative

DearMoon crew member Yemi A.D. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Yemi AD, aged 41 at the time of selection, was born in the former Czechoslovakia to a Czech mother and Nigerian father in 1981. Yemi describes herself as “a multidisciplinary creative force, social innovator and choreographer”.

He has designed, choreographed, and directed shows and campaigns for Apple, Google, Mercedes Benz, VMAs, SNL, and CBS, and is the founder of JAD Productions, an award-winning creative production company. Yemi was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the Czech Republic in 2019 and is the founder of Moonshot Platform, an American non-profit organization that supports young leaders.

4. Tim Dodd, YouTuber / founder of Everyday Astronaut

Dear Moon crew member Tim Dodd. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Tim Dodd, aged 35 at the time of selection, was born in Iowa and is a content creator, photographer, videographer and musician. He started Everyday Astronaut in 2013 as a photography project and expanded to YouTube in 2017, where he regularly hosts live streams and interviews (particularly with SpaceX).

“Tim’s mission is to ‘bring cosmos to Earth for ordinary people,'” says his “DearMoon” biography. “He specializes in analyzing complex aerospace topics and making them more understandable to the average person through carefully crafted and visual videos.”

5. Brendan Hall, documentary filmmaker

DearMoon crew member Brendan Hall. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Brendan Hall, 28 at the time of selection, was born in Connecticut and makes documentaries about nature. “His projects take viewers on adventures that explore the limits of our human spirit, from following a remote medical expedition through the Amazon rainforest to scientists digging up furry mammoth bones in Siberia,” reads his DearMoon biography.

Hall graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has worked with the National Geographic Channel, Google, Adobe, and the Nature Conservancy. His cinematography has appeared on Netflix and in the 2017 PBS documentary “Bill Nye: The Science Guy” after the popular 1990s children’s show, among others. Hall’s first feature documentary will include “personal stories” from various US national parks.

6. Karim Ilya, photographer and director

Dear Moon crew member Karim Ilya. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Karim Ilia, aged 32 at the time of selection, is a nomadic photographer, filmmaker and whale-swimming guide. His childhood homes included the Middle East and Asia. His passion for nature “led him to battle with whales, among erupting volcanoes, deep in the icy worlds of the Arctic, and in the many enchanting places that people and animals have made their homes,” according to the biography of his beloved Moon.

Elijah documents endangered species such as whales and birds as an ecosystem advocate and has worked in over 45 countries. His work has been featured in National Geographic and BBC Earth magazines, among others. He also co-founded Kogia, a non-profit media library and film group dedicated to ocean conservation.

7. TOP / Choi Seung Hyun, musician

DearMoon TOP team member / Choi Seung Hyun. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

TOP, also known as Choi Seung Hyun, was 35 years old at the time of selection. He is a South Korean rapper, musician, film actor and art collector.

He first rose to prominence in the music scene in 2007 when he became the lead rapper of the K-pop group Bigbang. He is also known for his solo work and films, including Into the Fire and Tazza: The Hidden Card.

The TOP art collection included a collaboration with Sotheby’s, a renowned auction house. He also recently launched his own wine brand.

8. Dev D. Joshi, actor

DearMoon crew member Dev D. Joshi. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Dev D. Joshi, aged 22 at the time of selection, is an Indian-born professional actor and social media influencer. He has been performing since the age of 3 in areas such as television, regional cinema, music albums, stage shows and advertising. He is best known for playing the Indian child superhero Ball Veer.

His awards include the Shakti Puraskar Ball of the President of India, which is India’s highest civil order for those under 18 years of age. Joshi is the founder of the non-governmental organization D3 Caring Social Club and holds a master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

9 Caitlin Farrington (substitute), Olympic snowboarder

Caitlin Farrington, DearMoon reserve team member. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Caitlin Farrington, who is 32 at the time of selection, is originally from Idaho and is a snowboarder. Selected as a member of the USA Snowboard Team at the age of 17, she won an Olympic gold medal in 2014 in a showboard halfpipe. She retired eight months later after being diagnosed with congenital cervical stenosis, a spinal disorder.

“It was a hard reality for Caitlin to give up something she loved too much and reinvent herself in the snowboarding community,” Farrington’s biography reads. “Now she spends most of her time snowboarding in the backcountry, which she likes to call adventure snowboarding. Caitlyn is currently taking online courses to earn her degree in business communication.”

9. Miyu (fallback), dancer

Dear Miyu, a member of the Moon reserve team. (Image credit: Dear Moon)

Miyu, 25 years old at the time of selection, is a Japanese professional dancer, choreographer and movement practitioner. She has performed all over the world and is particularly proud of her performance at the Cotton Club in Tokyo, which has sold out several times.

“Miyu has spent the last decade teaching, inspiring and uniting people through dance and movement around the world,” reads her precious Luna’s biography. “Miyu has proven time and time again that as an artist anything is possible when you are driven by kindness, grace and humility.”

Elizabeth Howell is co-author of Why Am I Taller? (will open in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).

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