Japan billionaire Maezawa to fulfill childhood dream with space flight

Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Dec 7 – Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa mentioned he may barely include his pleasure a day forward of blasting off to the International Space Station in a prelude to a extra formidable journey across the moon with Elon Musk’s SpaceX deliberate in 2023.

The 46-year-old trend magnate and artwork collector has been coaching at a space centre outdoors Moscow in current months earlier than turning into the primary space vacationer to journey to the ISS in additional than a decade.

Maezawa will journey aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, which can launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, accompanied by his assistant Yozo Hirano, who will doc the journey, and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.

Speaking from Baikonur forward of his 12-day space journey, Maezawa mentioned flying into space had been a childhood dream.

“I’m excited. I feel like an elementary school student about to go on a outing,” Maezawa mentioned at a information convention. “I didn’t think I would be able to go to space. I used to like the starry sky and heavenly bodies. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity and to finally fulfil my dream.”

The billionaire has been chronicling his preparations, together with demonstrating his space go well with and using a centrifuge, in social media posts, with plans to put up extra from space.

Space flight participant Yozo Hirano waves behind a glass wall throughout a press convention in Baikonur on December 7, 2021.
POOL/AFP by way of Getty Images

During his 100 days in coaching, Maezawa mentioned he had loved parabolic flight, the place weightlessness is induced for brief durations on an tailored aircraft, however discovered coaching in a spinning chair powerful.

The entrepreneur, who was carrying a blue flight go well with with a badge studying “world peace”, mentioned he had struggled to be taught Russian to talk with his trainers and seemed ahead to consuming sushi when he returns to Earth.

Maezawa will grow to be the primary non-public passenger on the SpaceX moon journey, as business corporations together with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin usher in a brand new age of space journey for rich purchasers.

The billionaire, who bought his on-line trend business Zozo to SoftBank in 2019, is trying to find eight individuals who will be a part of him in his moon voyage in 2023, requiring candidates to cross medical checks and an interview.

Maezawa has grow to be a family title in Japan by way of his penchant for personal jets and supercars, money giveaways to Twitter followers and movie star girlfriends in a rustic identified for its conformist, company tradition.

Maezawa would be the first Japanese non-public citizen in space since TV journalist Toyohiro Akiyama visited the Mir space station in 1990.

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