It seems like space is the new trend for billionaires. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is now on his way to the International Space Station. The Russian-built Soyuz rocket took off from Russia’s Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday morning. Carrying a Russian cosmonaut, the billionaire, and his assistant. The 12-day trip is the first of its kind, that totally self-funded space tourists in a decade.
“I feel excited like an elementary student waiting for a school trip, I want to see the Earth from space, float in zero gravity, and see how I will change through this experience. I was blessed with this opportunity, and I’m truly happy I can go.” Mr. Maezawa said at a pre-launch news conference.
Maezawa’s assistant, Yozo Hirano, is a production and videographer. He will capture footage and document the flight for the 46-year-old entrepreneur’s YouTube channel.
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Tom Shelley, Space Adventures President said “Maezawa’s intention is to try to share the experience of what it means to be in space with the general public. He plans to document “simple things about daily life to maybe some other fun activities, to more serious questions as well.”
From now on, I won’t be able to use my iPhone, so the next tweet will be from space. Let’s Go🚀
— Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) (@yousuckMZ) December 8, 2021
Maezawa to the Moon with SpaceX
Mr. Maezawa may want to make a warm-up before his ambitious flight to the Moon with SpaceX in 2023.
Back in 2018, Maezawa joined SpaceX founder Elon Musk to announce plans for chartering a flight around the moon using SpaceX’s Starship. And because he hates to be alone, he plans to invite eight guests to join his trip.
Musk didn’t mention how much Maezawa is paying for the trip. He just said that it would help fund the rocket’s development.
Also, the cost of this trip hasn’t been disclosed. Other previous space trips with the Russians nearly coated in the range of $20 million to $40 million