Russian Space Agency to Send Japanese Billionaire to the ISS in December

The Russian space agency Roscosmos will be sending Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano to the International Space Station in December as a space tourist.

Roscosmos made the statement on Thursday saying that Maezawa and Hirano will be traveling aboard a Russian “Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft that is scheduled for launch on December 8, 2021, from the Baikonur cosmodrome” in Kazakhstan.

Maezawa is also participating in a mission around the moon aboard a Starship spacecraft of SpaceX, US billionaire Elon Musk’s space company and rival of Roscosmos, in 2023.

“I’m so curious ‘what’s life like in space?’ So, I am planning to find out on my own and share with the world on my YouTube channel,” Maezawa said.

Hirano, which is also a film producer, will be documenting the mission together with Maezawa. The two will be conducting pre-flight training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City in June.

Maezawa will be the eighth self-funded individual to visit the space station and the first from Japan to become a space tourist.

Forbes magazine estimated space tourists payment between $20 and $35 million per person for 8-12 days in space. The cost of Maezawa’s flight has not been disclosed.

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