Luxurious billionaire Maezawa Yûsaku becomes Japan’s first tourist to the International Space Station

(gauche à droite) Maezawa Yûsaku, l

Bykonor, Kazakhstan (Reuters) – On December 8, billionaire Masawa Yusaku flew to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Russian rocket, becoming the first Japanese tourist to stay there.

The 46-year-old businessman has asked his fans for a hundred ideas for activities to do in space, and he already plans to play badminton.


(Left to right) Maezawa Yûsaku, Russian astronaut Alexandre Missourkine and Hirano Yôzo, Maezawa’s assistant. They took off on a Soyuz rocket from the Bygone Cosmotrome in Kazakhstan on December 8 (pool via grill Kudryavtsev / REUTERS)

Maezawa made his fortune by founding online fashion retailer Yûsaku Zozotown, which he sold in 2019 to phone company Softbank. Famous for its extravagance of art and extensive collection of cars, he can also boast of having a well-stocked YouTube account. With over 820,000 subscribers, the most followed Japanese Twitter account (especially after distributing ,500 7,500 for 1,000 Followers Retweeted his post in January 2020).

Soyuz MS-20 rocket from Roscosmos project with Maezawa Yûsaku, December 8, 2021 (REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov)
Soyuz MS-20 rocket from Roscosmos project with Maezawa Yûsaku, December 8, 2021 (REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov)

(REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov)
(REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov)

The voyage on the ISS is considered a kind of “preparation” for Masawa, yet before the immense adventure: a first personal voyage around the moon in 2023, which will take place in a week with a Starship rocket developed by Elon Musk. American company SpaceX. Eight people with him are still actively searching. Applicants should undergo a medical examination and go for an interview.

Mesawa Yusaku (REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov)
Mesawa Yusaku (REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov)

(REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov)
(REUTERS / Shamil Zhumatov)

(Report by Shamil Jumadov; text by Gabriel Tetrad-Farber; editing by Andrew Osborne and Alex Richardson. French edition of Nippon.com)

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