Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is bankrolling an exciting mission to space aboard a privately-funded SpaceX rocket. The dearMoon mission, is a six-day mission with an eight-person crew, the first civilian lunar orbital mission. Among the eight crew are two photographers, Rhiannon Adam and Karim Iliya.
Maezawa himself, a businessman, fashion mogul, philanthropist and entrepreneur, will act as crew leader. Joining Adam and Iliya are Steve Aoki, TOP (Choi Seung Hyun), Yemi A.D., Tim Dodd, Brendan Hall and Dev D. Joshi. Kaitlyn Farrington and Miyu are backups. Maezawa said, ‘I’m very thrilled to have these amazing people join me on my journey to the moon and excited to see what inspiring creations they come up with in space.’
The pair of photographers were selected from a large pool of applicants from nearly 250 different countries. Maezawa selected the crew to push boundaries in their respective fields and help others and society at large. And, of course, the crew must be able to cooperate and help their colleagues.
Rhiannon Adam is a 37-year-old Irish photographer. Per Adam, her long-term projects blend fine art photography and social documentary, with themes and subjects ranging from climate change, social injustice, outsider communities, and abuse of power. She often utilizes analog photographic techniques, including degraded Polaroid and color negative film.
‘Every day I pinch myself; it seems like an impossible dream coming true. I aim to create work that does justice to this transformative experience,’ said Adam. To view more of her work, visit her website and follow Adam on Instagram.
Karim Iliya is a 32-year-old British photographer, filmmaker and whale swimming guide based in Iceland and Hawaii. Like Adam, who grew up sailing the world with her parents, Iliya had a varied upbringing as well, having grown up in the Middle East and Asia. Iliya’s work has taken him to over 45 countries and his focus is on photographing threatened species, like whales and birds, to raise awareness.
You can see more from Iliya on his website, Instagram, and YouTube. Per PetaPixel, Iliya is ‘so excited to look at the Earth from the perspective of the moon, to be so far away from everything and everyone, and to see a planet rising or setting behind the moon.’ Iliya continued, ‘I expect to come back a vastly different person and use my experience to leave the world a better place than when I arrived.’
Adam, too, is understandably excited about the mission. She has spent much of her career working in remote communities, and there are few places humankind can go that are more remote than the moon.
The dearMoon Mission is expected to launch in 2023 using SpaceX’s new Starship rocket.