Science

Today the economy, the portrait: the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa conquers space

Published on: 12/10/2021 – 08:52

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who made his fortune from online fashion, is no longer down to earth! It took off on Wednesday, December 8, aboard the Russian Soyuz rocket, bound for the International Space Station (ISS), 400 kilometers from Earth, where it will remain for ten days.

“It is a real challenge for me, but I think it is important to make your dreams come true. It doesn’t matter which ones. I want to be an inspiration to others. »Yusaku Maezawa explains on his YouTube channel. After months of training, this lean man with the mischievous smile ventures into space with the fervor of a child. This space mission, a first step, for the orderly sum of 30 million euros, before going around the Moon with the Space X rocket in two years …

But why the Moon? “There are three reasons, Yusaku Maezawa explains: first curiosity, to experience something new and to go where I have never been. Second, I want to see how fantastic planet Earth is. Finally, I want to realize how small, insignificant I am, to understand that I have to work even harder in order to achieve even more. I am afraid, but my curiosity is stronger than my fear. ”

“MZ” for close friends might become an early lunar traveler alongside the equally eccentric Elon Musk if, of course, his rocket is in place by then.

The head of Tesla and Space X says he trusts the Japanese billionaire’s YouTube channel, where he is proudly shown carrying Yusaku Maezawa on his shoulders. “I am sure we will reach orbital level with Starship before 2023. It is promising. Yusaku Maezawa offers places aboard the rocket to artists, creators. He wants to share this experience with everyone. ”

Space tourism, an expensive and complex challenge, but more physically accessible than one might imagine.

Christophe Bonnal, a researcher at the National Center for Space Studies, explains: “The orbital is really very simple because the accelerations are relatively weak. It is comparable to the attractions of the Throne Fair. So we check that you are healthy, we check that you have no risk of heart failure in between, and that’s it. Later, we make you test the conditions in which you will find yourself. For example, 3G, 3G is the Fair of the Throne. They also put you in a seat where they hold you firmly everywhere and that after a little twist in all directions. It seems that it is still very surprising, but it is not the end of the world. “

Nothing, however, predestined this capricious Japanese in a country where businessmen have a more moderate temperament, such an existence

Born 46 years ago in Kamagaya, Chiba Prefecture, he became passionate about punk rock and created the group Switch Style with his high school friends. He did not go to college, but moved to the United States with his American girlfriend. There he collected CDs and recordings, which he later sold upon his return to Japan in 1995. From there, Star Today his first business was born. Then, in 2004, he launched the online fashion site ZozoTown, today Japan’s leading and listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Then he created Zozo, a bespoke clothing brand. A valued employer, this golfer imposes a maximum of six hours a day on his employees so they can spend time with his family.

This father of three children, from two different wives, is also a great collector of contemporary art. In 2017, he bought his third Jean-Michel Basquiat painting at auction for a record price of $ 110.5 million. “This is my favorite Jean-Michel Basquiat painting. When I saw her, I almost cried in front of the power and the strong emotion that emanates from him. “He says.

Japan’s 18th fortune Yusaku Maezawa also owns paintings by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Alexander Calder. Works that he wanted to make accessible to the general public thanks to his foundation for contemporary art in Tokyo.

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