The Japanese billionaire arrives on the ISS on a space tourism trip ahead of the SpaceX lunar voyage

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa arrived at the International Space Station ISS on Wednesday, where he will be visiting as a private space tourist for almost two weeks.

Maezawa started together with production assistant Yozo Hirano and Roskosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The Japanese entrepreneur booked the space flight through the US company Space Adventures, which had previously sent seven tourists to the space station in Russian vehicles.

“I am excited to share every aspect of my journey with everyone on earth,” Maezawa said in a pre-launch statement.

Notably, Maezawa’s ISS visit comes after booking a trip to the moon with SpaceX with its “DearMoon” project announced in 2018 to reach lunar orbit, with Maezawa saying he “will pay for the entire trip.”

SpaceX founders Elon Musk and Maezawa gave an update on the spacecraft’s lunar journey earlier this year, with the company’s schedule still targeting 2023. The DearMoon mission would take three days to fly to the moon, leave it in orbit, and then spend three days returning.

Maezawa is currently in orbit around Earth – where he will spend about 12 days on board the ISS before returning on December 19.

Maezawa made his fortune starting fashion retail company Zozotown, which he stepped from in 2019 after selling a majority stake in SoftBank.