Big Bang’s T.O.P, Steve Aoki to join billionaire Yusaku Maezawa in journey to the Moon 

Published December 9, 2022, 7:17 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

K-pop boy band Big Bang’s T.O.P, Steve Aoki and six others have been selected to join Japanese billionaire and crew leader Yusaku Maezama on the first civilian mission to the Moon next year.

From one million applicants in 249 countries, eight crew members were selected under the dearMoon Project.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezama (center) and the eight crew members and two backup crews for the dearMoon Project (dearMoon website)

The flight plan of the dearMoon Project (dearMoon website)

The nine crew members including Yusaka Maezama will head to the Moon using Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starship spacecraft.

Last December, Yusaka Maezama “became the first Japanese civilian to visit the ISS, spending about 12 days on board.”

The eight crew members selected are T.O.P from South Korea, Steve Aoki from the US, Yemi A.D. from Czech Republic, Rhiannon Adam from Ireland, Tim Dodd from the US, Karim Iliya from the United Kingdom, Brendan Hall from the US and Dev D. Joshi from India.

The two backup crew members are Kaitlyn Farrington from the US and Miyu from Japan.

In a video that showed him being chosen as a crew member of the mission, T.O.P, 35, said, “I’m so honored to be a crew member of the dearMoon Space Project.”

“I have always fantasized about space and the moon since I was young. I applied to Dear Moon because I want to feel new stimulation and enlightenment. When I was told that I was chosen as a crew, I was so happy.”

He said Yusaka Maezama “has been like a brother to me over the years. He’s an entrepreneur an adventurer who I admire. MZ inspires me as an art collector and gives me a lot of advice for my life.”

“As a Korean Citizen and artist of a great pride and responsibility in becoming the first Korean civilian going to the Moon. And representing my country for this project, I want to support my dearMoon crew members,” said T.O.P.

He added, “When I finally see the Moon closer I’ll look forward to my personal growth and returning to Earth as an artist with new inspiration.”

T.O.P said he is not scared of the space mission.

“The Moon. I’m not scared to go at all. I’m not afraid of new experiences. Instead I am honored and humbled to have this experience and I cannot wait to go to space. As a Korean artist, I want dearMoon to inspire the world, give people hope, and make anyone with a dream feel that anything is possible,” said T.O.P.