Yusaku Maezawa Shares Video From ISS, Responds to Space Trip Criticism
Yusaku Maezawa is the first self-paying space tourist to visit the ISS since 2009. Yusaku Maezawa/Instagram
Japanese fact mogul Yusaku Maezawa is vacationing on the International Space stop this week. The 46-year-old billionaire is the first self-paying civilian to visit the space stop since 2009. In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, he confirmed the range of price he’d paid for the 12-day journey and responded to criticism that he could have put the money toward solving more urgent problems on Earth.
“Those who criticize are perhaps those who have never been to space,” Maezawa said in his first TV interview from space. “Once you are in space, you realize how much it is worth it by having this amazing experience. And I believe that this amazing experience will rule to something else.”
Maezawa’s space trip is organized by Virginia-based Space Adventures. The same company had sent seven other tourists to the space stop in 2001-2009. The exact price for his trip is undisclosed. Reports cited by the AP claimed he had paid over $80 million, which Maezawa said was “pretty much” the amount he’d paid.
“Yes, it is nevertheless rather expensive, but it is not only about money,” the billionaire said. “It takes time for your body to adjust in this ecosystem and the training for emergencies takes at the minimum a few months. So, honestly speaking, it is only easy to reach for those who have time and are physically fit and those who can provide it. But we don’t know if that is nevertheless going to be the case in 10 years, 20 years’ time.”
Unsurprisingly, those comments sparked some controversy on social media. Under a link to the interview posted on the AP’s Twitter page, some users bashed him for doing nothing to help people in need on Earth, while others said that it’s “his money, his choice.”
Maezawa blasted off into space in the early morning of December 8 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and arrived at the ISS later that day. He was accompanied by his 36-year-old assistant Yozo Hirano, who’s tasked with documenting the whole space journey, in addition as Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.
Since docking at the space stop last week, Maezawa has been posting photos and videos of his experience on social media.
On Saturday, he posted a time-lapse video of the space stop revolving around Earth. “This is exactly an complete orbit around Earth. Breathtaking.” he tweeted.
On Sunday, he posted a four-minute video on YouTube demonstrating how to use the bathroom on the space stop.
In another video posted Monday, Maezawa was seen struggling to stay nevertheless while floating in zero gravity.
His latest YouTube proportion, posted on Tuesday, is a video of him brushing his teeth for three minutes straight in space.
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