Inside life of punk rocker billionaire Yusaku Maezawa as he blasts off to space

Want stories that are quite literally out of this world? Get Spaced Out direct your inbox

A Japanese billionaire and former punk rocker has become the first civilian to fly to the International Space Station after paying around £30 million for a ticket.

Yusaku Maezawa blasted off on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft this morning for a 12-day jaunt on the ISS, where he plans to do 100 unusual tricks in zero-gravity including playing golf. He is accompanied by a video producer named Yozo Hirano who will film the adventure for the billionaire's YouTube channel.

Ahead of his trip, Maezawa shared videos and photos of the unusual training regiment he had to undergo, including playing badminton every day and getting spun around in a chair.

The ISS trip won't be Maezawa's last, either. He is the key backer of the 'dearMoon' project, which will fly eight random members of the public to the Moon on Elon Musk's SpaceX Starship in 2023.

He joins the ranks of other super-rich astronaut wannabes who are taking advantage of a boom in space tourism. But who is Yusaku Maezawa?

From his punk rock origins to his web fashion millions, let's take a look at the lifestory of this eccentric billionaire.

Who is Yusaku Maezawa and how old is he?

Richard Branson isn't the only spacefaring one-percenter with a background in rock and roll. The 46-year-old Maezawa initially made a name for himself in Japan as the guitarist and drummer of hardcore punk band Switch Style.

The band took off in Japan, but Maezawa reportedly got tired of constant tours and recording. He ended up focusing on his hobby of selling records and rare CDs online, which led him to found the online fashion mega-retailer, ZOZOtown.

After resigning in September 2019 and selling 80 percent of his stake in the company, he's focused on art dealing and his space adventures.

  • Simon Cowell to Britney Spears: Super-rich freezing their bodies so they can live forever

Maezawa is known in Japan for his unusual philosophy and look, priding himself on breaking with the country's "salaryman" culture. In May, he outlined his view on the world:

"Work hard, make people happy, earn money, buy big dreams, visit amazing places, meet people, experience great things, grow as a person, and work again. The cycle repeats. The cycle of making dreams come true. We can even go to space," he wrote on Twitter.

Why is Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa flying to the ISS?

Simply put, Maezawa is obsessed with space, and really wants to go.

He's undoubtedly curious about life beyond Earth, having previously tweeted questions such as: "Do you move forward when you fart in space? What happens when you play Pokemon GO in space?"

Maezawa has also made a name for himself for holding competitions to take people beyond the stratosphere. He previously launched a competition seeking a girlfriend to take to the stars, but had to back out after receiving nearly 30,000 applications.

  • CEO fires 900 staff over Zoom weeks before Christmas – then accuses some of 'stealing'

As well as this trip to the ISS, Maezawa has funded the SpaceX 'dearMoon' mission.

He purchased all the seats aboard SpaceX's Starship rocket for a week-long journey to the Moon and back.

Maezawa opened applications for eight civilian crew members from creative backgrounds to win a seat, and received an overwhelming number of applications numbering in their millions. There is no news yet on who has been accepted onto the flight.

  • Five minute millionaire says 'don't be like me' after losing fortune in Squid Game scam

How can I watch the SpaceX Moon mission live?

The SpaceX Moon mission, in which Maezawa and others will embark on the first fly-by of the Moon, is not scheduled to take place until 2023.

There's no set date on when it will take place, as Elon Musk's space company needs to complete production on its Starship project, which will be the biggest rocket ever made.

Maezawa may need to put his plans on hold for a little while however, as all is reportedly not well at SpaceX HQ.

Elon Musk called his workers in over the Thanksgiving break and demanded 'all hands on deck' to finish the Starship's Raptor engine.

He warned that the company faces a 'serious risk of bankruptcy' if it doesn't turn things around quickly.

Right now, it's not Maezawa's problem though—he's already got one space flight to focus on.

  • Space
  • Spaced Out

Source: Read Full Article