Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese millionaire, returned to Earth on Monday following a 12-day voyage into space, completing a test run for his planned trip around the moon in 2023 with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
In 2023, Maezawa will be the first private passenger on a SpaceX moon mission, as commercial enterprises such as Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin usher in a new era of space travel for the wealthy.
Maezawa, a space enthusiast, traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Soyuz spacecraft, becoming the first space tourist to do so in more than a decade.
The 46-year-old fashion mogul and art collector, who launched with his aide Yozo Hirano and Russian astronaut Alexander Misurkin from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome on December 8, landed on the Kazakh steppe.
At the landing site some 150 kilometers southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan, Yusaku Maezawa returned to snowy circumstances on Earth, with precipitation and sub-zero temperatures.
The entrepreneur, who sold his online fashion company Zozo to SoftBank in 2019, is looking for eight people to join him on a mission to the moon in 2023. Applicants must pass medical tests and an interview.
Yusaku Maezawa, one of Japan’s most outspoken public figures, delighted his social media followers from orbit by posting photographs of his home prefecture of Chiba, demonstrating how to make tea in zero gravity, and criticizing his lack of new underwear.