First SpaceX moon passenger Yusaku Maezawa: Every little thing you should know – CNET

Screenshot by Jackson Ryan/dearmoon

On Monday, SpaceX revealed the thriller passenger who could be taking the primary personal flight to the moon. His title is Yusaku Maezawa. You might not have heard of him earlier than, but when SpaceX has its means, you are going to be listening to as a lot about him as Neil Armstrong.

So who’s he? 

Who’s Yusaku Maezawa?

Yusaku Maezawa, 42, is a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur and founding father of Zozotown, Japan’s largest on-line vogue retailer. Now, he is additionally the primary personal citizen to go to the moon.


Maezawa inside SpaceX’s Huge Falcon Rocket.


At Monday’s SpaceX reveal, Maezawa mentioned he was as soon as a skateboarder and fascinated by American tradition. After six months within the US, he headed again to Japan and began to play the drums in a band earlier than founding Begin Immediately, a mail order enterprise, in 1998. Two years later, he took the enterprise on-line.

His band, Swap Model, discovered some success with their arduous and quick punk rock. In an interview with the Japan Instances he famous that he was the president of his personal firm, whereas he toured with the band till the success of Begin Immediately grew to a degree the place he couldn’t do each. He determined to give up the band and forge ahead along with his on-line enterprise.

In 2004, he launched on-line vogue retailer Zozotown and not too long ago introduced a made-to-measure bodysuit service as a part of the ZOZO model, often called the Zozosuit. The go well with permits individuals to make sure the garments they order on-line match completely earlier than they arrive.

Orders for the go well with have been so in style that they well-exceeded manufacturing capability. Final fiscal 12 months, Zozotown’s gross sales topped $76 billion.

Forbes’ most up-to-date wealthy record has Maezawa as Japan’s 18th richest individual, with an estimated value of $2.7 billion and the 59th richest individual in tech. Within the wake of Monday’s announcement that he could be headed to the moon, Begin Immediately’s inventory value jumped, earlier than settling once more.

Past his enterprise pursuits, Maezawa is a famous artwork collector, having spent thousands and thousands on beneficial artwork works since buying his billions. Considered one of his costliest items was painted by Jean-Michel Basquiat and bought at an artwork public sale in 2016 for a record-breaking value on the time: $57.three million. The next 12 months, he purchased one other Basquiat piece for a cool $110.5 million — breaking his personal document for one of many artist’s works.

Maezawa additionally based the Up to date Artwork Basis in 2012 which goals to popularize and enhance information and training of latest artwork. It supplies grants to younger artists and musicians. Maezawa has plans to open an artwork museum in his hometown of Chiba, Japan.

Why does he wish to go to the moon?

Maezawa’s curiosity within the arts is without doubt one of the key driving components in his reasoning to go to the moon. His mission known as #dearmoon and on the announcement of his participation, a slick video was produced highlighting Maezawa’s thought.

Primarily, #dearmoon is a civilian artwork venture that Maezawa hopes will encourage those that stay on Earth. Maezawa will take six to eight artists to area with him on the primary Huge Falcon Rocket, constructed by SpaceX. These artists will get a free trip with Maezawa, however once they return to Earth, he hopes they are going to create artwork tasks primarily based on their time in lunar orbit. He plans to incorporate painters, photographers, musicians, movie administrators, vogue designers and designers, amongst different roles.

“I select to go to the moon with artists,” Maezawa mentioned Monday. His imaginative and prescient got here to him when watching one in every of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work. “In the future once I was watching his portray, I used to be questioning, what if Basquiat had gone to area? What fantastic masterpiece would the have created?” Maezawa mentioned.

“I couldn’t move up this chance to see the moon up shut and on the identical time I didn’t wish to have such a unbelievable expertise on my own. That might be lonely. I do not like being alone. I wish to share this expertise and issues.”

Sadly for Maezawa, Basquiat handed away in 1988. Numerous different inspiring artists Maezawa credited, together with Michael Jackson and Coco Chanel, have additionally handed. However he questioned what works they may create, having visited the moon. 

For now, he hasn’t selected which artists he’ll attain out to and embrace on the inaugural flight.

On the SpaceX announcement, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made it clear that this was a harmful mission. Maezawa nodded alongside as Musk mentioned the dangers.

“He’s the bravest individual — and essentially the most prepared to take action — and he was one of the best adventurer I feel. He stepped ahead to do it. To be clear, we’re honored that he would select us. This isn’t us selecting him,” Musk mentioned on the announcement Monday.

“While you’re pushing the frontier, it isn’t a positive factor. There’s an opportunity that one thing might go unsuitable.” 

Maezawa ended his quick presentation at Monday’s announcement with a easy request to any of the artists he reaches out to sooner or later: “Please say sure, if you’ll hear from me.”

How a lot did he pay to go to the moon?

At the moment, SpaceX isn’t disclosing the sum of cash that Maezawa is handing over to guide out a whole rocket to the moon. Maezawa did verify nevertheless that he has made a down-payment for his place — and the place of different artists — on the rocket. 

“It should have a fabric impact on paying for the BFR,” Musk acknowledged Monday. “He places his cash the place his mouth is.”

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