MOSCOW, — The public will be able to see the International Space Station from a Japanese billionaire’s upcoming flight to space, according to Space Adventures president, who organized the flight.
Yusaku Maezawa, fashion tycoon and producer, is scheduled to launch to space on December 8th aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket craft. He will be joined by producer Yozo Hirano who will film his mission. Alexander Misurkin, Russian cosmonaut, will also be on board.
Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures said that Maezawa created a list with 100 things to do in Space during a 12-day mission, after receiving suggestions from the public.
Shelley stated that his intention was to share the experience of being in space with the public. He said this in an interview with The Associated Press.
Maezawa made a fortune in fashion retail by launching Zozotown, Japan’s largest online shopping mall. Forbes magazine currently estimates his net worth at $2 billion.
Maezawa stated in a statement that he was curious about “What’s life like out there?” Maezawa made the comment in a statement earlier in the year.
His film producer and he will be the first tourists to pay their own money to visit the space station. The cost of the trip is not yet known.
Space Adventures, a Virginia-based business, previously sent seven tourists to the station from 2001 to 2009.
Maezawa also booked a flight around the moon on Elon Musk’s Starship, tentatively scheduled for 2023. Eight contest winners will be there with him.
Maezawa and his crewmates have been training for the flight at Russian space facility.
He stated that while training in spacesuits to respond to emergencies on the station was physically strenuous, it was also very enjoyable.
Maezawa stated that he had 100 things on his bucket list for the International Space Station, which included playing badminton with Misurkin in orbit.
The Russian actor Yulia Pesild and Klim Shipenko, the film director, are currently on the station making the first movie in orbit. This project, the Kremlin stated, will help to reaffirm Russia’s space glory.
Peresild, Shipenko and a Russian Soyuz spacecraft rocketed into orbit on Oct. 5, for a 12-day stay on the station. They were filming segments of “Challenge,” which sees Peresild as a surgeon who rushes to rescue a crew member in need of an urgent operation.
Peresild, Shipenko and another Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy are due to return to Earth Sunday. Shipenko will also be starring in the movie as the ailing Cosmonaut.
Shelley also stated that Space Adventures has an agreement with Russian partners to allow two private customers to fly to the station in 2023 or 2024. One of these customers will then conduct a spacewalk.
He stated that the company is in talks with potential customers at the moment and plans to confirm this mission within the next few months.
Shelley said to the AP that it’s a feat that has never been done before. “It’s something that we’ve been excited about for a few years to do that.”