Cork-born artist selected for civilian moon flight

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is funding the SpaceX lunar flight

A Cork-born photographer and artist has beaten over a million applicants to join Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa on his planned trip to the moon.

Rhiannon Adam, 37, who now lives in Hackney, London, was revealed on Friday to be among eight artists and creatives selected by the Japanese entrepreneur and art collector, after a year-long screening and application process.

Ms Adam will be the first Irish woman to orbit the moon, and the first “openly queer woman to go to space”.

The trip is expected to take place in 2023 aboard a rocket being developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which will see the civilian crew orbit the Moon for approximately seven days before returning to Earth. The trip is the first of its kind for any civilian crew.


Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced in 2018 that he would fund the lunar mission, with all seats on the voyage given to civilians with an artistic background.

In return for being selected, each civilian will create a unique art project inspired by their experience in space.

“Every day I pinch myself. It seems like an impossible dream coming true,” Ms Adam said of her selection for the trip.

The voyage “seemed like the most epic and life changing adventure,” she said, adding that when she heard she had been selected, she cried.

“I think it was overwhelming and had seemed just so impossible, and even then, it didn’t seem real. It did make me think that perhaps I should have played the lottery more.”

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times