Russia will send Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the International Space Station in one on Wednesday move that marks the return of Moscow to the space tourism sector, now booming after a ten-year hiatus. Maezawa, one of the richest men in Japan, 46, will take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Soyuz spacecraft flying the Japanese flag. accompanied by his assistant Yozo Hirano, a film producer which will document the journey for Maezawa’s YouTube channel and its 754,000 subscribers.
The mission it will put an end to a ten-year hiatus in the Russian space tourism program that has not accepted tourists since 2009: the last passenger in that year was the Canadian co-founder of Cirque du Soleil Guy Laliberte. In October, however, the Russian space agency Roscosmos had sent actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko to the ISS to shoot the scenes of the first film in orbit in an attempt to beat a rival Hollywood project.
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is a space enthusiast, famous as a patron of modern art. Founder of Japan’s largest online fashion shopping site, he is the 30th richest person in the country, according to business magazine Forbes. However, he is far from the traditional image of the Japanese businessman: his twitter account is @ yousuck2020, a pun on his name, and is followed by more than 10 million people. And he’s a big spendthrift, particularly when it comes to his two passions: modern art and space travel.
He rose to headlines in 2017 for shelling out well $ 110.5 million for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting “Untitled”, a skull-like head in oil, acrylic and spray paint on a giant canvas. It was a record price, but Maezawa insists that he is just an “ordinary collector” who buys pieces “simply because they are beautiful”.
How much he spent on his next space adventure is unclear, as the price was kept secret, although such trips have cost millions of dollars. But the cost is unlikely to greatly affect the $ 1.9 billion net worth that Maezawa is estimated to have amassed through her company Zozo, formerly known as Start Today, which runs the popular online fashion site ZOZOTOWN. Maezawa arrived in Kazakhstan for space training in November and said he was “not afraid or worried” about the trip.
Source From: Ansa