The 12 day excursion to the International Space Station is reportedly worth over $80 million
A rocket carrying a Japanese billionaire, his producer, and a cosmonaut from Russia landed back on Earth Monday after completing a mission to the International Space Station.
Yusaku Maezawa, who launched Japan’s largest online fashion retailer Zozotown, traveled to the station alongside his producer Yozo Hirano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin on a space tourism excursion.
The trio landed in Kazakhstan Monday morning, completing a 12 day trip organized by space tourism firm Space Adventures.
The visit was reportedly worth over $80 million, according to the Associated Press (AP).
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“Once you are in space, you realize how much it is worth it by having this amazing experience,” Maezawa told AP during an interview delivered from the space station.
Maezawa faced some criticism for embarking on a costly trip to the stars while people on Earth still need help, but the fashion tycoon spoke out against the pushback.
“Those who criticize are perhaps those who have never been to space,” Maezawa said, AP reported.
The billionaire says he plans to travel aboard Elon Musk’s Starship rocket for a 2023 mission.
Commercial space travel and space tourism is an emerging market led by a few industry titans, including Blue Origin, a spaceflight company founded by Amazon Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos.