Japanese Billionaire Shooting Movie in Space

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For the first time in over a decade, self-paying tourists launched themselves into space and
docked with the International Space Station Wednesday. Japanese fashion billionaire Yusaku
Maezawa and his producer, Yozo Hirano, rocketed up in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft joined by
cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin. They lifted off from Kazakhstan in the afternoon, arrived at the
station almost six hours later, and now plan to film their mission.

During a pre-flight news conference on Tuesday, Maezawa said, “I would like to look at the
Earth from space. I would like to experience the opportunity to feel weightlessness. And I also
have a personal expectation: I’m curious how the space will change me, how I will change after
this space flight.”

The Japanese pair will spend 12 days on the ISS, during which time they intends to tackle a list
of 100 things to do in space that they compiled after asking the public for ideas. It includes
“simple things about daily life to maybe some other fun activities, to more serious questions as
well,” according to Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures, which organized the trip.
Earlier this year, Shelley said, “His intention is to try to share the experience of what it means to
be in space with the general public.”

Maezawa has also booked a flight on SpaceX’s Starship around the Moon for sometime within
the next few years. He will be joined on that trip by eight other contest winners.

With a net worth estimated by Forbes to be two billion dollars, he is only the latest billionaire to
reach space, continuing the trend set by Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson earlier this
year. Unlike the other big names, however, Maezawa made his fortune back on Earth. He
launched Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown. Apparently, being an astronaut is his
next gig. We’ll wait to see what kind of film he produces from orbit.

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