Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has today joined the growing list of wealthy entrepreneurs in heading to space.
Maezawa’s first launch, which will see him spend 12 days on the International Space Station, forms part of his goal to go to the Moon on SpaceX’s Starship in 2023.
On the trip, via a Russian rocket, the billionaire will undergo 100 tasks that have been put forward by the public.
Accompanied by his video producer Yozo Hirano and Russian astronaut Alexander Misurkin, the nearly two-week long stay will be documented on the billionaire’s YouTube channel.
“People can have hopes and dreams (by seeing that) a regular person like me can go into such an unknown world,” the billionaire said in a previous press conference, adding that it is a “dream come true”.
The launch has reportedly cost Maezawa around £66m and will likely pave the way for a more accessible space and satellite market in Japan.
Just weeks ago, London-listed Seraphim Space Investment Trust injected $12.5m into Tokyo-headquartered Astroscale – after the firm snagged $109m in a Series F funding round.
Billionaire entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have already changed the economics of space in using their wealth to launch successful, and reliable, space companies.
In making the blossoming industry more accessible to startups, billionaire’s like Maezawa could usher in greater levels of investment into the tech-driven island.