Russia sends Japanese billionaire and assistant to the Space Station

They are the first tourists in 12 years

Published in 08/12/2021 - 10:35 By RTP - Moscou

Russia sent today (8) Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezeva and his assistant Yozo Hiramo to the International Space Station (ISS), returning to promote space tourism after 12 years.

As planned, the Soyuz MS-20 departed the Baikonour cosmodrome, with the two tourists and the ship's commander, cosmonaut Alexandr Misurkin.

A few minutes later, the spacecraft separated from the propulsion rocket and continued its flight to the orbital station.

It is the first time two tourists have traveled on the same spacecraft to the ERA since 2009, when Canadian Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté last entered the orbital station.

Maezawa, 46, and Hirano will spend 12 days at the station.

The manager's assistant, the thirtieth richest man in Japan, according to the Forbes list, will film Maezawa's adventure, who will recount his impressions in space on his private YouTube channel.

The spacecraft will dock with Russia's EEI Poisk module after completing four orbits and six hours of flight.

There are also 162 kilos of cargo on board, including materials for experiments, hygiene products, food and 13 kilos of fresh fruit, as well as letters and gifts from friends and family for those who already inhabit the EEI.

Two hours after docking, the gates will open and the three crew will be greeted by the current tenants of the international orbital platform, cosmonauts Anton Skaplerov and Piotr Dubrov, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, as well as that of the European Space Agency (ESA), Matthias Maurer.

The Japanese businessman and assistant began training to fly in the summer.

"We train for 100 days," Maezawa said on Tuesday (7), at a press conference, adding that he will have "100 tasks" on the orbital platform, whose fulfillment he will communicate to the public on YouTube.

Maezawa said the first thing he will do aboard the ISS is "go to the bathroom".

"The flight is going to be very long and it's definitely the first thing we want to do," he explained.

Text translated using artificial intelligence.

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