Yusaku Maezawa to become third billionaire to enter space, first Japanese space tourist to visit the ISS

Yusaku Maezawa will visit space station

Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is set to become the first Japanese space tourist to visit the International Space Station (ISS) this December.

Getting ready: The Japanese fashion magnate will take to the skies on Dec. 8 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

  • Maezawa has been training for months in order to prepare for the 12-day trip at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia, reported Reuters.
  • At a recent press conference, Maezawa revealed that during his training in zero gravity, he has not felt any fear or anxiety so far.
  • “Our inspiration is growing,” he said via a translator. “I’ve been alive for 45 years and have not experienced anything like that. I felt awkward at first.” 
  • Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, who serves as his assistant, will accompany Maezawa during the trip, along with film producer Yozo Hirano, who will document the flight.
  • The 45-year-old entrepreneur noted that he became used to not being able to control the movement of his arms and legs, describing it as “very pleasant.” 
  • The ship will launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, as organized by Virginia-based company Space Adventures, reported Space.com.
  • While Space Adventures did not disclose how much the trip will cost Maezawa, previous space tourists who traveled to the ISS have reportedly paid between $20 million and $40 million.

Next stop, the moon: Maezawa, who is estimated to be worth $2 billion according to Forbes, is also scheduled to fly around the Moon in 2023 aboard SpaceX’s Starship vehicle, the Verge reported.

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  • Back in March, Maezawa announced a public invitation for eight people to join him on his trip around the Moon.
  • According to Maezawa, the plan has evolved from flying artists to inviting members of the public, who he plans to pick, to join his project, “dearMoon.”
  • Last year, Maezawa also announced that he was looking for a female “life partner” to accompany him on the upcoming flight, generating over 20,000 applications from women, NextShark previously reported. 
  • The trip will reportedly take three days to fly to the moon, loop around it in orbit, plus another three days to return to earth. Those who join him will fly for free as the billionaire said he will pay for the lunar trip.

The race for commercial space travel has so far launched two billionaires to space this year, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos launching into space on the New Shepard spacecraft and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson riding his own aircraft in July. 

Featured Image via yusaku2020

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