Private space travel: Japanese billionaire going to the Moon will pop to the ISS before

Elon Musk and Yusaku Maezawa discuss dearMoon project

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Japanese e-commerce entrepreneur and art collector Yusaku Maezawa will be heading to the ISS later this year with private space travel firm Space Adventures. The company said the 45-year old has passed all medical requirements. Mr Maezawa nonchallently said on Twitter: “Going to the ISS before the Moon.”

The retailer will take off on his 12-day mission on December 8 of this year.

He and the crew will launch in a Russian Soyuz capsule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan.

The mission will be led by Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, who will also guide Mr Maezawa through three months of spaceflight training commencing in June.

Alongside Mr Maezawa will be his production assistant, Yozo Hirano.

Mr Maezawa said in a statement: “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.”

Eric Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Space Adventures, said: “We are excited for Maezawa-san, and we are honoured to have enabled this opportunity for him to fly to space.

“He will be flying on the respected Soyuz spacecraft, visiting the space station as have our previous space flight participant (SFP) clients.

“This is the first time two SFPs will fly together, and the first tourist mission to the ISS in a decade! Welcome to space, Yusaku!”

The cost of the tickets has not been divulged.

Mr Maezawa will also become the first person commercially to fly around the Moon in 2023.

The businessman has offered to take eight members of the public with him.

When the plans were first announced in 2018, the businessman said he wanted to take eight artists with him on the mission called dearMoon.

However, he has now said that has “evolved” as “every single person who is doing something creative could be called an artist”.

Including pilots and technical staff, there will be a total of 10 to 12 people on board the Starship.

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