Maezawa’s journey has begun, Roscosmos launches space tourist to ISS after 12 years

At 8:38 a.m. (Italian time) today the mission began Soyuz MS-20 directed to the international space station who has two on board space tourists: Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano. Accompanying the Japanese billionaire and his assistant is the professional cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.

Everything is going as planned, with the Soyuz 2.1a rocket which took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome to take the three astronauts to the ISS. The duration of the space mission should be 12 days. As noted Roscosmos, this is the first tourist mission after a stopover of 12 years (on the Russian side). By the Russian space agency, it was not counted as “sightseeing” the launch of the MS-19 which carried an actress and a director into orbit to shoot certain scenes for a film.

soyuz launch

The Russian billionaire’s mission was indirectly facilitated by launches from the United States thanks to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. These allowed “free up space” on the Russian Soyuz (which no longer needs to carry NASA astronauts into orbit).

Maezawa’s journey to the International Space Station

The journey of space tourists Yusaku Maezawa And Yozo Hirano It started at 10:38:15 a.m. today (Moscow time) when Soyuz 2.1a left the Baikonur launch pad. After 528.9 inches, there was good separation between the manned capsule and the third stage of the carrier.


A four-orbit profile was chosen to achieve the correct orbit and velocity for docking with the ISS to occur. Currently, the spacecraft is making automatic adjustments. Alexander Misurkin (professional cosnaut) is, however, ready to take command in the event of a problem.

The initial orbital parameters were 200 km for the perigee and 243.5 km for the apogee with an orbit completed in 88.65 minutes and an inclination of 51.67°. The capsule will dock with one of the hatches of the Poisk module of the Russian segment of the ISS at 2:41 p.m. (Italian time). The return is scheduled for 2:41 p.m. on December 20.

launch of roscosmos

The tourist mission of Yusaku Maezawa And Yozo Hirano was organized by Space Adventures. This company has been collaborating on trips of this type since 2001 and has put other tourists such as Dennis Tito, Charles Simonyi, Garriott and Guy Laliberte into orbit. The cost has not been officially disclosed, but an estimate indicates that these types of operations generally reach up to $20 million per person.

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