A Japanese billionaire who spent tens of millions of dollars to take a leisurely trip to the International Space Station doesn't care that his vacation among the cosmos is only accessible due to his obscene wealth.
In an interview with the Associated Press conducted from his $80 million vacation aboard the ISS, fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa mused that "those who criticize are perhaps those who have never been to space." No kidding, sir!
"Yes, it is still rather expensive, but it is not only about money," he admitted to the AP. "It takes time for your body to adjust in this environment and the training for emergencies takes at least a few months. So, honestly speaking, it is only accessible for those who have time and are physically fit and those who can afford it."
We poor suckers on Earth may not have to wait forever, though: Maezawa said that "we don’t know if that is still going to be the case in 10 years, 20 years’ time."
Worth just under $2 billion, Maezawa and his very lucky assistant Yozo Hirano made history last week by becoming the first space tourists to enter the ISS since 2009. Their 12-day stay has followed the billionaire's headline-grabbing quest to go to space led to a canceled reality show and a pact with SpaceX to send eight other lucky folks on a trip around the Moon on their dime.
Earlier in his ISS voyage, the billionaire claimed he's going to give away some of his vast wealth while he's in space, but it remains unclear why, how much, to whom, or when such charity will occur — and the question of his proclamation did not come up in AP's latest report.
While he's clearly thrilled to be among the 0.00000000001 percent of people who can afford to send themselves and their friends to space, it hasn't been all fun and games so far, as Maezawa told the AP that he's had difficulty sleeping and experienced motion sickness since entering the ISS.
But rest assured, the billionaire is "getting over the motion sickness so I can enjoy the remaining days."
"I am returning on the 20th and starting to miss Japan," he said. "Once I return, I want to have sushi!”
Wouldn't we all like to have what he's having!
READ MORE: The AP Interview: Japanese tourist says space trip ‘amazing’ [Associated Press]