Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has returned to Earth after spending 12 days on the International Space Station. The trip served the 46-year-old Japanese in preparation for a future tourist flight around the moon.
Maezawa landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan along with cameraman Yozo Hirano and cosmonaut Aleksandr Misurkin. Images show them emerging from the Soyuz pod they landed in. The Russian space agency Roskosmos confirms that the astronauts are doing well.
Billionaire Maezawa announced in 2018, together with SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, that the Japanese would make a space trip around the moon within a few years. He wants to do this with Starship, a spacecraft that SpaceX is currently developing. In addition, Maezawa wants to take several artists along and inspire them for new works through the journey. The moon flight is scheduled for 2023.
Maezawa is the founder of Zozotown, one of the largest fashion webshops in Japan. His net worth is estimated at around 1.8 billion euros. The Japanese made videos for his followers on YouTube during the space journey. He told, among other things, how everyday matters such as going to the toilet and brushing your teeth are done in space.