The first Starship passenger traveled to the International Space Station on a Soyuz spacecraft

Yusaku MizawaThe Japanese billionaire and clothing retailer arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday for a 12-day stay. He is the newest private passenger to the orbital laboratory in a year in which space tourists were more open to space than ever before.

Mizawa, founder of Zorro, an online Japanese clothing retailer, at 11:08 Iranian time with Yuzo Hirano, A production assistant who will document his trip, boarded a Russian Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur space base in Kazakhstan. Alexander Mysorkin, Russian astronauts also accompany space tourists. The three-member crew connected to the space station six hours later at 5:10 p.m. and entered at around 7:42 p.m.

Upon arrival, the space station crew, now 10, gathered to greet the newcomers in the Russian section of the station. Mizawa spoke there via live video with his family in Baikonur, waiting for him to arrive at the station.

Mizawa, as an energetic adventurer, attracted international attention in 2016; When to take possession of one of the works Jean-Michel Basquiat, American artist agreed to pay $ 3.57 million at auction. In 2017, he bought another painting by the same artist for $ 110.5 million.

In 2018, Mizawa announced his interest in space travel at an event at SpaceX headquarters in California. He joined the company’s founder, Ilan Musk, to take the stage to announce that he will be the first passenger on the SpaceX SpaceX spacecraft.

Astronauts training in Soyuz space

Yusaku Mizawa and two companions practice flying in October.

The Starship mission, which will revolve around the moon and return to Earth, is scheduled for 2023; However, this trip will most likely be delayed. Mizawa initially planned to invite a group of artists to accompany him on a trip to the moon; But then at the beginning of last year he launched a public contest in which women could apply to be selected as Mizawa’s partner and join him on a lunar voyage.

This was a mating competition that was to become a documentary. However, Mizawa was criticized and canceled his plans, apologizing to the nearly 28,000 women who applied to participate in the comparison. Eventually, the Japanese billionaire decided to recruit eight people to join him on the lunar voyage.

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Mizawa booked seats for the space station via Space Adventures; An American company that organizes space travel for wealthy tourists. He did not say how much he would pay for the mission.

The crew flew a Russian missile; Russia’s advanced spacecraft that launches Russian astronauts to the International Space Station. Before the Crow Dragon Space X capsule was chosen by NASA, American astronauts relied on Soyuz to travel to the space station. Each seat on the spacecraft cost NASA about $ 70 million to $ 100 million; As a result, the amount that Mizawa paid for himself and his companion is definitely in the same price range.

Mizawa and Hirano are not the only private astronauts to travel to the space station this year. In October, a Russian actor and director spent eight days on the space station to make the first feature film to feature space footage.

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