A Japanese billionaire is vacationing on the ISS with his manager

Yusako Maezawa is now vacationing on the ISS with his manager Yozo Hirano: the Japanese billionaire has even more ambitious plans for the future.

His name is Yusako Maezawa, he recently turned 46 and his wealth has been estimated at well over two billion dollars. Maezawa is known for having founded Zozotown, the largest fashion e-commerce in Japan, for being a major art collector, and for having a great, unstoppable passion for space travel.

The Japanese billionaire reached the International Space Station a few days ago, along with his manager, aboard the Soyuz: his vacation in orbit will last 12 days, and is only the first of Maezawa's "space projects".

A space tourist on the ISS

This is not the first time that the International Space Station has welcomed special guests: just two months ago it was the turn of a Russian mini-troupe engaged in filming a movie, and now there are several "tourists" who have been able to stay on the ISS.

Thanks to the company Space Adventure, with which Maezawa and manager Yozo Hirano have formed a partnership, seven space tourists have already reached the ISS aboard the Soyuz in the early years of the millennium. The first was Dennis Tito, who is remembered as the first space tourist in history, then the retirement of the Space Shuttle project in 2011 stopped space tourism for a while, because for quite a while the Soyuz was the only means to transport NASA astronauts, who took priority over billionaires with a passion for space.

Now that SpaceX's Crew Dragon is able to make up for the severe lack of an alternative means of transport to the Soyuz, Space Adventure is resuming operations by sending the two Japanese tourists to the ISS, which will return to Earth on December 19.

Maezawa has prepared a list of "100 things to do in space" ahead of the trip: among other things, posting videos of the ISS vacation on YouTube and playing badminton with Aleksandr Misurkin, the cosmonaut who accompanied the two civilians to the Space Station.

Maezawa and the Dear Moon project

Japanese billionaire Yusako Maezawa also has other plans for space, and apparently will not miss an opportunity to complete the list of 100 things to do in space.

Nel 2018 annunciò di aver acquistato un viaggio intorno alla Luna a bordo di Starship di SpaceX: parliamo di un momento in cui Starship era ancora poco più di un pensiero, eppure Maezawa aveva già programmato tutto sin da allora.

Il progetto si chiama Dear Moon, e prevede di portare in orbita intorno alla Luna otto persone insieme a Maezawa, che ha finanziato il programma. Inizialmente si pensava di popolare il viaggio intorno alla Luna esclusivamente di artisti, che avrebbero raccontato ed ispirato i futuri viaggi nello spazio.

Recentemente Maezawa ha aperto a tutti la possibilità di accompagnarlo intorno alla Luna, e pare che siamo nelle fasi conclusive del processo di selezione dei fortunati che prenderanno parte a Dear Moon.
Starship però non è ancora pronta per portare Maezawa intorno alla Luna, con il primo tentativo di lancio orbitale previsto per i primi mesi del 2022, così per il momento il miliardario giapponese si è “accontentato” di una breve vacanza spaziale sulla ISS.