T.O.P (real name Choi Seung Hyun), singer and actor of the group BIGBANG, will be going to the moon for the first time as a Korean celebrity next year.
According to the Dear Moon project website, on the morning of December 9, Yusaku Maezawa, founder of Japan’s largest online shopping mall Jojo Town and founder of e-commerce company Start Today, unveiled eight passengers who will travel to the moon with him next year. Dear Moon is a space travel project organized by Maezawa.
All passengers are cultural artists and T.O.P is the only Korean to be included. In addition to T.O.P, American DJ and producer Steve Aoki, American YouTuber Tim Todd, Czech choreographer Yemi AD, Irish photographer Rhiannon Adam, British photographer Karim Ilya, American filmmaker Brendan Hall and Indian actor Deb Josh have been selected. American snowboarder Caitlyn Farrington and Japanese choreographer Miyu have been included in the preliminary list.
Next year, they will travel around the moon and return to Earth after six days aboard a Starship spacecraft developed by Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX. Maezawa will pay all expenses for space travel.
“It is an honor to be selected as a crew member of the Dear Moon Space Project”,
said T.O.P. in a video posted on the Dear Moon website. “I’ve always had big fantasies about space and the moon since I was young. The reason I applied to Dear Moon is because I want to feel a new stimulus and a new enlightenment,” he declared. “Maezawa is an entrepreneur and an adventurer whom I respect. He inspired me as an art collector and gave me a lot of advice on life. As a Korean citizen and an artist, I feel great pride and a great responsibility to be the first civilian from Korea to go to the moon and represent my country.“
In the video, there is also a scene where T.O.P appears to be wiping away tears. When Maezawa informed T.O.P of the final selection of crew members, T.O.P was overjoyed and Maezawa hugged him with all his might and sincerely congratulated and encouraged him saying, “Don’t cry, Nakenayo ( do not Cry).”
Source: YouTube Dear Moon