‘Do you move forward when you fart in space?’ Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is calling on the public to suggest activities for him to try on his space flight this December – and the sillier the better
- Yusaku Maezawa has purchased a flight to the International Space Station
- He is a Japanese billionaire who has made his wealthy in the fashion industry
- Maezawa is set to launch aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in December
- He is bringing a production crew to capture life on the orbiting laboratory
- Maezawa has also purchased the first flight of SpaceX’s Starship rocket
- The rocket is set to take off in 2023 and take the crew around the moon
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawais wants the public to suggest up to 100 ‘silly’ activities for him to try when he journeys into space later this year.
The eccentric fashion tycoon paid $40 million (£28 million) for himself and a film producer to travel to the International Space Station on Russian Soyuz spacecraft in December.
Maezawa has asked people to suggest things he can do while he is floating about in the low gravity environment of the ISS, saying ‘the sillier the better’.
‘I want this experience to be for everyone, not just me, and so I came up with this plan. What should I do in space? What should I bring to space?’ Maezawa wrote.
One of the ideas he gave as example activity he could do while on the ISS was whether you move forward if you fart while in a low gravity environment.
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawais wants the public to suggest up to 100 ‘silly’ activities for him to try when he journeys into space later this year
The eccentric fashion tycoon paid $40 million for himself and a film producer to travel to the International Space Station on Russian Soyuz spacecraft in December
WHAT IS THE ISS?
The International Space Station (ISS) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) science and engineering laboratory that orbits 250 miles (400 km) above Earth.
It has been permanently staffed by rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts since November 2000.
ISS studies have investigated human research, space medicine, life sciences, physical sciences, astronomy and meteorology.
The US space agency, NASA, spends about $3 billion (£2.4 billion) a year on the space station program, a level of funding that is endorsed by the Trump administration and Congress.
So far seven space tourists have paid to visit the station.
Maezawa made headlines in 2019 when he launched a search for a female companion to accompany him during a trip around the moon on a SpaceX spacecraft, scheduled to launch in 2023.
But the 45-year-old’s request was unmet and so he changed it to a search for eight friends to journey with him around the moon – and 300,000 have already applied.
In the meantime he booked a flight with Russian space agency Roscosmos to take him up to the ISS for a 12 day visit – and wants the public to participate.
The billionaire said it doesn’t matter whether the ideas are ‘silly or serious’, he just wanted to give people the chance to participate in his space tourism journey.
Maezawa says he plans to film each of the activities he undertakes during his 12-day trip for his YouTube channel and upload them while in orbit.
‘Do you move forward when you fart in space? What happens when you play Pokemon GO in space? Call someone on Earth from space!’ Maezawa said.
He will be constrained by the types of items he can take with him due to limited storage on the Soyuz spacecraft and restrictions on types of materials.
The flight is being operated by US space tourism company Space Adventures, who will decide on any equipment he takes with him.
Yusaku Maezawa, 45, an online fashion tycoon, made headlines in 2019 when he launched a search for a female companion to accompany him during the lunar mission – but the request was unmet and he is now looking to bring eight friends instead
If a unique idea is submitted and Maezawa selects it to complete, he will award that person a personalised mission patch with the Soyuz spacecraft set against a peace symbol overlaying the Earth.
‘You will receive a mission patch with your name embroidered on it, identical to what I’ll be wearing!’ Maezawa said.
He will launch for space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on December 8 alongside production assistant Yozo Hirano and Russian Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin who will fly the Soyuz capsule.
Maezawa has asked people to suggest things he can do while he is floating about in the low gravity environment of the ISS, saying ‘the sillier the better’
‘I’m so curious “what’s life like in space”? So, I am planning to find out on my own and share with the world on my YouTube channel,’ said Maezawa.
‘I thought that if I want to guide my fellow “dearMoon” crew members during our lunar trip scheduled for 2023, why not fly to space and experience it first?’
In total, seven self-funded individuals have visited the space station and Maezawa plans to be the 8th and the first from Japan.
‘We are excited for Maezawa-san, and we are honored to have enabled this opportunity for him to fly to space,’ Space Adventures chairman and CEO Eric Anderson said in the same statement. ‘Welcome to space, Yusaku!’
ROCK DRUMMER TO BILLIONAIRE: WHO IS YUSAKU MAEZAWA?
An undated file photo shows Yusaku Maezawa, 42, the founder and CEO of Zozo, Japan’s largest online fashion retailer
Before he became a billionaire fashion entrepreneur, Yusaku Maezawa was an indie rock band member who decided to skip college ‘after seeing all the tired faces on my morning commutes’ in Japan.
Born in 1975 in Chiba prefecture in Japan, Maezawa graduated from the prestigious Waseda Jitugyo High School in 1991.
It was there that he started SWITCH STYLE, an indie rock band which eventually released an EP in 1995.
After graduating, he followed his then-girlfriend to the United States, where he collected CDs and records of musicians he loved.
Born in 1975 in Chiba prefecture in Japan, Maezawa (seen above playing the drums) graduated from the prestigious Waseda Jitugyo High School in 1991. It was there that he started SWITCH STYLE, an indie rock band which eventually released an EP in 1995
In 1995, he returned to Japan and started an import CD and record mail-order business.
His business succeeded, and he began to branch out.
In 2000, he created an online retail business. That same year, his band signed with BMG Japan and debuted an album.
His company, Start Today Inc, also began to sell clothing.
In 2004, Start Today began Zozotown, the site made a killing selling clothes from shops such as Japanese boutique United Arrows and minimal French label A.P.C.
Zozotown’s success turned its founder, Maezawa, into one of Japan’s richest entrepreneurs, and its name adorns a baseball stadium.
Maezawa made his fortune by founding ZOZO, an online clothing retailer which he started in Japan and built into a billion-dollar business
The website set itself apart in its early days with a clean, uncluttered design and a slice of ‘Ura-Hara’ style – the modish fashion of the backstreets that line the trend-setting Harajuku district of Tokyo.
Business took off as fashion-conscious professionals in their late twenties and early thirties started using Zozotown to buy trendy but work-appropriate threads online from labels such as United Arrows and Nano Universe.
Its target is now broader, selling over 6,800 brands including clothes by Shimamura Co Ltd, one of Japan’s largest mass market chains. But industry executives say it still has an enviable cachet.
It continued to grow until 2007, when it went public and was listed in Tokyo Mothers Market.
In recent years, Maezawa has used his wealth to buy famous and pricey works of art.
In 2016, he spent $57.2million for a piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat. A year later, he shelled out a whopping $110.5million at auction in Sotheby’s for another Basquiat piece – this one titled Untitled (as seen above)
In 2016, he spent $57.2million for a piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
A year later, he shelled out a whopping $110.5million at auction in Sotheby’s for another Basquiat piece – this one titled Untitled.
He’s also bought works by Christopher Wool, one of which he paid $13.9million, as well as Richard Prince.
In 2007, Maezawa spent $9.7million on Prince’s ‘Runaway Nurse’, which was a record.
He also paid $6.9million for ‘Lobster,’ by Jeff Koons.
Maezawa’s dream is to buy up works of art and display them in his own private museum in his hometown of Chiba prefecture.
Sources: Reuters, The Daily Beast
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