Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who recently returned to Japan after a 12-day trip into space last month, said his launch into the universe was less frightening than riding a rollercoaster and making him obsessed with Earth.
The 46-year-old fashion mogul and art collector in December became the first space tourist aboard the International Space Station in more than a decade, in preparation for an even more ambitious trip around the moon with Elon Musk’s SpaceX scheduled for 2023.
“When you go into space you become obsessed with the Earth,” he told reporters on Friday. “You are grateful to have her wind, her scent, her seasons.”
One of Japan’s most flamboyant public figures, Maezawa has impressed her social media followers from space by showing how she makes tea in Zero Gravity and discussing her lack of fresh underwear. On Friday, he said he never felt scared in orbit.
“At the time of launch, I was able to benefit from the experience,” he said. “I had the impression that the departure of the (high-speed) Shinkansen from the station, was very smooth. I only realized (the launch) when I looked out the window.”
Maezawa, who sold his online fashion company Zozo to SoftBank in 2019, will become the first private passenger on SpaceX’s lunar flight scheduled for next year and screen “a million” applications from eight artists he has pledged to join him on the trip.
But looking at Earth from space – which he said is “100 times more beautiful than photographs” – gave him other ideas.
“You start to think of world leaders meeting in space,” he said. “Of course, I’m not a strong enough person to do that. But if that happens, the world might be a better place to live in.”
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