In recent years, the space industry has been experiencing a significant increase in commercial interests, with several emerging private companies with ambitious goals to explore and utilize space resources, for example, mining minerals from asteroids. One of these companies, SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, leads for its numerous successful launches, and plans for interplanetary exploration to Mars and far. Among its many initiatives, the company’s most ambitious and crazy project, “dearMoon,” has caught the attention of the world.
Conceived and financed by Japanese billionaire Yūsaku Maezawa, the key component is a private flight involving Maezawa, various artists, and a specialized crew member, or two, aboard a SpaceX vehicle.
Moon my beloved
“dearMoon“ is a lunar tourism mission, to send the first private passengers to orbit the Moon. This mission is a significant step in the commercialization of space, as it marks the first time in history that private individuals will be able to experience space travel on such a long trip. In 2017, Maezawa had already contracted with SpaceX for a lunar flyby aboard the Falcon Heavy–launched Dragon 2 capsule, which would carry just two passengers.
According to an announcement by SpaceX in early 2018, the Falcon Heavy plan was dropped as an alternative to Starship development. Starship, the new SpaceX’s vehicle, is indeed currently in development: for the first time on February 9, 2023, SpaceX performed the first static fire of 31 Raptor engines of the Super Heavy booster.
Ars gratia artis
As previously mentioned, the mission involves the transport of many civilian passengers, which thanks to the involvement of Starship, has raised the number to 10 occupants. However, there is one particularity… Maezawa expressly announced that all the passengers on this journey would have one thing in common: they would have been all artists, dancers, performers, or content creators.
The reason why he made this decision is to inspire a new generation of artists, including musicians, illustrators, writers, science communicators, and photographers to promote world peace and give a more “human” component to the cold space environment.
Meet the crew
Now let’s have a fast look at the beating heart of this project, the crew!
First of all, there is the crew leader, Yusaku Maezawa, born in Chiba prefecture, Japan, in 1975. He founded the company Start Today Ltd. (currently, ZOZO, Inc.) In December 2021, he became the first Japanese civilian to visit the ISS, spending about 12 days on board.
Steve Aoki, crew member, was born in Miami, United States in 1977. Steve is a 2 times GRAMMY-nominated music producer, artist, fashion designer, entrepreneur, NFT futurist, and philanthropist.
TOP (Choi Seung Hyun), crew member, was born in South Korea in 1987. TOP is a South Korean rapper, multi-hyphenate musician, award-winning film actor, and avid art collector. Most recently, TOP has expanded his entrepreneurial ventures with the launch of his wine brand named T’SPOT.
Yemi A.D., crew member, was born in Czechoslovakia in 1981. Yemi is a multidisciplinary creative force, social innovator, and choreographer who teaches people & organizations how to move into their creativity. He designed, choreographed, and directed shows and campaigns for Apple, Google, Mercedes Benz, the VMA’s, SNL, and CBS.
Rhiannon Adam, crew member, was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1985. Rhiannon is a photographic artist and currently lives and works between London and the US. Rhiannon’s work is centered on research-based, long-form, social documentary projects that make use of analog photographic processes and archive materials.
Tim Dodd, crew member, was born in Iowa, United States in 1985. Tim is a content creator, photographer, videographer, and musician. Better known as Everyday Astronaut on YouTube where it quickly grew into a leading source for aerospace information, live streams, and interviews.
Karim Iliya, crew member, was born in the UK in 1990. Karim is a photographer, filmmaker, and whale swimming guide based in Iceland and Hawaii. Karim has worked in over 45 countries, won multiple awards, and been published in National Geographic Magazine and BBC Earth,
Brendan Hall, crew member, was born in Connecticut, United States in 1994. Brendan is a documentary filmmaker telling stories in the natural world and beyond. In his work, he is committed to sharing the wonders of our planet in hopes that we may be inspired to care for it.
Dev D. Joshi, crew member, was born in India in 2000. Dev is a professional actor and social media influencer with an experience of more than 18 years in the field of Art & Entertainment. Dev was honored by the President of India with the “Bal Shakti Puraskar” (2019), the highest civilian honor in India under the age of 18.
Kaitlyn Farrington, backup crew member, was born in Hailey, Idaho in 1989. Kaitlyn grew up on a ranch in Idaho and at a young age, she fell in love with winter sports. In high school, Kaitlyn started to compete in snowboard competitions around the United States. When she was 17, she was invited to join the U.S. Snowboard Team. She won an Olympic Gold Medal at the Sochi Olympic games in 2014.
Miyu, backup crew member, was born in Japan in 1997. Miyu is a professional dancer, choreographer, and movement practitioner. Miyu has performed globally but is most proud of her show at Cotton Club in Tokyo, Japan, which was sold out for several nights and was amongst one of her best performances. Her motto is “Make the Impossible Possible”.
The power of inspiration
The “dearMoon” mission has generated a lot of excitement, not only among space enthusiasts but also among the general public. With the increasing popularity of space tourism, this mission is seen as a turning point in space exploration, and a demonstration of the potential for private enterprise to lead the way in space discovery. In conclusion, the “dearMoon” mission is a bold and exciting step forward for inspiring a new generation of artists, marking the beginning of a new era in how people watch the universe. With its focus on lunar tourism and the demonstration of deep space capabilities, this mission is set to motivate and captivate the world, and to drive further advancements in space technology and exploration.