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This Japanese Billionaire is SpaceX's First Moon Traveller Yusaku Maezawa, founder of ZOZOTown is the first paying consumer of SpaceX

By Komal Nathani

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Twitter/Yusaku Maezawa

The global transportation company, SpaceX signs up the world's first private passenger, who is the Japanese fashion guru and entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, for a trip to moon. The 42-year-old billionaire is the founder and chief operating officer of online fashion store Zozo Digital.

Maezawa's identity was first introduced by Elon Musk in the press conference on Monday, held in the office of rocket-company in Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, California.

Maezawa's flight to moon is tentatively planned for 2023 for now as the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) rocket is currently under construction. A drummer-turned-entrepreneur, Maezawa said that he will invite six to eight selected world-renowned artists to accompany him on lunar orbit mission, which fly them around earth and moon for one week.

The electric car marker Tesla Inc. has already set the benchmarks in the global space industry with its Falcon projects. The company has completed more than 50 successful Falcon launches and snagged billions of dollars' worth of contracts, including deals with NASA and the US Department of Defence.

The chief executive officer of SpaceX, Musk has also announced that the company will shuttle passengers to the moon and eventually fly humans and cargo to Mars.

Here's a quick brief about the first ever passenger of lunar orbit mission.

Who is Yusaku Maezawa?

Passionate about art and music, Maezawa is the Japanese businessman, who owns one of the largest fashion e-retailer Zozotown. Before embarking on entrepreneurship, Maezawa was working as a drummer in a punk band. It was 1998 when he founded Start Today Business after moving from US to Japan. Two years later, he took his business online. Maezawa was following his passion for music alongside entrepreneurship, but while touring with the band and managing Start Today's operations he realized after some time that he couldn't do both. He decided to quit his band and move forward with the online business.

In 2004, he launched Zozotown, the online fashion portal. With the growth in business, Maezawa has launched other verticals too like Zozosuit, which is a bodysuit service of the ZOZO brand. The current net worth of Maezawa is $2.9 billion, according to Forbes.

As his love for moon has no end, he is also the host curator of #dearmoon project. The art project staged in space, purposed to have these artists create work of art inspired from space and moon. He wants to include painters, sculptors, film directors, fashion designers, musicians, and other artists into this project.

The amount Maezawa is paying for the trip was not disclosed, however, Musk said the businessman outlaid a significant deposit and will have a material impact on the cost of developing the Big Falcon Rocket, states a report by AFP.

Komal Nathani

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

A firm believer of hard work and patience. Love to cover stories that hold a potential to change the momentum of business world. Currently, a part of all-women web team of Entrepreneur’s Asia Pacific edition to jig the wheel of business journalism!


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