T.O.P of K-pop boy band Big Bang will be traveling to the moon next year, joining the first civilian moon mission led by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa.
The eight crew members flying with Maezawa on the “dearMoon” mission are American DJ Steve Aoki, Indian actor Dev Joshi, American YouTuber Tim Dodd, Czech choreographer Yemi A.D., Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam, British photographer Karim Iliya, American filmmaker Brendan Hall and T.O.P of South Korea, Maezawa announced Friday.
American Olympic snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington and Japanese dancer Miyu were also selected as two backup crew members.
The project is the first civilian mission to the moon, a weeklong journey to the moon and back on the rocket developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, according to the dearMoon website.
Maezawa, who made his fortune as founder of the Japanese online fashion retailer Zozo, in 2018 had purchased all the seats aboard the rocket, saying he wants “people from all kinds of backgrounds” to join the mission.
T.O.P, whose real name is Choi Seung-hyun, said he was honored to have been selected.
“I have always fantasized about space and the moon since I was young. I applied to dearMoon because I want to feel new stimulation and enlightenment," he said in a video posted on his Instagram.
Choi added that he feels a great sense of pride and responsibility to be the first civilian from South Korea to go to the moon.
"I look forward to my personal growth and returning to Earth as an artist with new inspiration," he said.
"As a Korean artist, I want the moon to inspire the world, give people hope and make anyone with a dream that anything is possible."