NewsRussia is sending space tourists to the ISS -...

Russia is sending space tourists to the ISS – with big plans

For the first time since 2009, Russian space travel is sending space tourists to the International Space Station. One of them is an “old friend”.

Baikonur – 2021 is the year of space tourism, that has long been clear since the start of the billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos into space. But 2021 will also be the year in which tourism on the International Space Station (ISS) picks up speed again. No space tourist has set foot on the ISS since 2009 – apart from the Russian actress Julia Peressild and her director Klim Schipenko, who shot a film on board the space station in October 2021 and therefore do not quite fit into the “space tourism” scheme .

Now the Russian space organization Roskosmos has sold seats in the “Soyuz” space capsule to tourists for the first time – this time two men are flying with them: the Japanese Yusaku Maezawa (46) and Yozo Hirano (36). Maezawa is a Japanese billionaire who caused a sensation in the space industry a few years ago: In 2018 he was introduced by billionaire Elon Musk as the first person to fly a planned SpaceX rocket, which was then called the “Big Falcon Rocket”. meant to fly around the moon in 2023. Maezawa announced at the time that he would take “six to eight” artists from all over the world with him on his journey.

Russian space travel is reviving space tourism to the ISS

Maezawa later began a public search for a woman to fly around the moon with him. A TV show called “Full Moon Lovers” was planned – but Maezawa backed down and canceled the plan “for personal reasons”. But the flight around the moon is still planned, even if the SpaceX rocket is now called “Starship”. As a preparation for the long flight to the moon and back, Maezawa is now flying to the International Space Station. He and his assistant Yozo Hirano will be on board the ISS for twelve days. It is planned that Hirano will film the billionaire, the videos should be published on Youtube.

Liftoff! Die Rakete mit dem japanischen Milliardär Yusaku Maezawa, seinem Assistenten Yozo Hirano und dem Kosmonauten Alexander Misurkin startet zur ISS.


Liftoff! The rocket with the Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, his assistant Yozo Hirano and the cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin takes off for the ISS.

With him Maezawa has a list of 100 things he wants to do in space. They were suggested by the public – things like “flying the paper airplane furthest away”, “doing a TikTok dance” and “taking air with you from the ISS” are on the list. “I didn’t think I would be able to fly into space,” Maezawa said at a press conference prior to its launch. “I feel happy about this opportunity and that I can finally fulfill my dream.”

Space tourists on board the ISS

Surname Year of stay in space
Dennis Tito 2001
Mark Shuttleworth 2002
Gregory Olsen 2005
Anousheh Ansari 2006
Charles Simonyi 2007 + 2009
Richard Garriott 2008
Guy Laliberté 2009
Yusaku Maezawa 2021
Yozo Hirano 2021

Space tourism: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa fulfills his dream

The billionaire is likely to have spent enormous sums of money on this dream: The head of the US company Space Adventures, which specializes in space tourism, Tom Shelley, told the dpa news agency that between 44 million and 53 million euros would be due per person and flight. It is not known what Maezawa paid for the two flights to the ISS, and it is also unclear what the arrangement with SpaceX will cost him – but it is likely to be even more expensive than the flight to the space station.

Space tourism: Russia has seats available again for private individuals

Russia should accommodate the hustle and bustle that eccentric billionaire Maezawa is creating around space tourism. In the future, Roskosmos wants to bring more private individuals into space in order to earn money with them. That is possible again because the Russian Soyuz space capsules have to transport fewer US astronauts inside. With the end of the US space shuttle program, the US space organization Nasa and all other space nations were dependent on flying to the ISS in the Russians’ Soyuz capsules. For some time now, the USA has been able to transport its astronauts to the ISS itself with “Crew Dragon” space capsules from SpaceX – space has become free in the Soyuz capsules.

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The space capsule with Yusaku Maezawa, Yozo Hirano and the experienced cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin took off from the cosmodrome in Baikonur on Wednesday morning (December 8th, 2021). The Soyuz capsule is scheduled to reach the ISS around six hours later (around 2:41 p.m. CET) and dock there. Then the three newcomers are greeted by the current ISS residents. Among them is the European astronaut Matthias Maurer, who traveled to the ISS at the beginning of November together with four NASA colleagues with a “Crew Dragon” capsule from SpaceX. (tab)

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