Japanese tycoon Maezawa reveals crew for lunar voyage - RTHK
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Japanese tycoon Maezawa reveals crew for lunar voyage

2022-12-09 HKT 09:15
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  • Yusaku Maezawa took a trip to the International Space Station last year. File photo: AFP
    Yusaku Maezawa took a trip to the International Space Station last year. File photo: AFP
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa on Friday revealed that the K-pop star TOP and the DJ Steve Aoki will be among the eight crew members he plans to take on a trip around the moon next year, hitching a ride on one of Elon Musk's SpaceX rockets.

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) last year.

The fashion tycoon 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.

Like his fellow billionaire Musk, Maezawa has a flare for promotion and an infatuation with Twitter – he has boasted of holding the Guinness world record for the most retweeted post, when he offered a cash prize of 1 million yen to 100 winners for retweeting it.

Maezawa also 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.

TOP, the stage name of Choi Seung Hyun – who came to prominence with the K-pop group Big Bang – is among the higher profile members selected, along with Aoki, a Japanese American musician and DJ whose father founded the Benihana restaurant chain.

Indian actor Dev Joshi was also among the picks for the group, comprised largely of artists and photographers. US Olympic snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese dancer Miyu were named as backup crew members.

Maezawa, 47, flagged an update to the lunar expedition on Monday, tweeting that 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's internet business is now the top shareholder. (Reuters)