Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to fulfil childhood dream with space flight
The billionaire has been chronicling his preparations, including demonstrating his space suit and riding a centrifuge, in social media posts, with plans to post more from space.
During his 100 days in training, Maezawa said he had enjoyed parabolic flight, where weightlessness is induced for short periods on an adapted plane, but found training in a spinning chair tough.
The entrepreneur, who was wearing a blue flight suit with a badge reading “world peace”, said he had struggled to learn Russian to communicate with his trainers and looked forward to eating sushi when he returns to Earth.
Maezawa will become the first private passenger on the SpaceX moon trip, as commercial firms including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin usher in a new age of space travel for wealthy clients.
The billionaire, who sold his online fashion business Zozo to SoftBank in 2019, is searching for eight people who will join him in his moon voyage in 2023, requiring applicants to pass medical tests and an interview.
Maezawa has become a household name in Japan through his penchant for private jets and supercars, cash giveaways to Twitter followers and celebrity girlfriends in a country known for its conformist, corporate culture.
He will be the first Japanese private citizen in space since TV journalist Toyohiro Akiyama visited the Mir space station in 1990.
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