Japanese tycoon Maezawa rockets to International Space Station
17:27, 08 December 2021
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa took off into outer space on a Russian-built Soyuz capsule to enter the International Space Station in which he will spend the next 12 days.
The rocket soared from the Russian Baikonur cosmodrome located in Kazakhstan early Wednesday.
The current flight for Maezawa precedes his planned trip to the Moon on a Starship rocket belonging to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Maezawa has become the first space tourist to visit the ISS in more than a decade, accompanied by video producer Yozo Hirano who will take footage of the space voyage and professional Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.
“I’m so curious ‘what’s life like in space’?So I’m planning to find out on my own and share with the world on my YouTube channel,” the tycoon said before the flight.
Ahead of the flight Maezawa underwent numerous training sessions, including those he didn’t like at all. The spinning chair was the worst one for him as the billionaire said on Twitter attaching a brief video of the procedure.
11 days until Launch
Unusual training in Russia
The spinning chair - almost feels like torture. Some cosmonauts say itâs necessary, some say itâs not. Either way, itâs the hardest training ever done.
“People can have hopes and dreams (by seeing that) a regular person like me can go into such an unknown world,” Maezawa said.
The tycoon aims at completing 100 various tasks in space, ranging from the ordinary ones, such as showing the others how the ISS and the space look from his view, and to bizarre ones like playing golf in weightlessness, launching paper airplanes, and blowing bubbles.
The space adventure which cost him reportedly $88 million was followed by the recent space flights of Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson who reached space in capsules built by their own companies.