SpaceX’s first Starship customer, Yusaku Maezawa, just couldn’t wait to go on an outer space adventure. The Japanese entrepreneur will launch aboard Russia’s Soyuz next week before launching aboard SpaceX’s Starship sometime in 2023. Maezawa purchased all seats aboard the first crewed Starship launch vehicle that is destined to go on a journey around the Moon. Starship is still under development at the company’s Starbase facility located in Boca Chica Village, Texas. Maezawa called the SpaceX mission ‘Dear Moon,’ and invited the public to participate in a contest to win a seat aboard Starship’s first crewed flight. He plans to select only eight passengers out of over one million who participated.
Maezawa announced on Sunday, December 5, that he is ready to liftoff atop a Russian Soyuz rocket to visit the International Space Station (ISS) on December 8. His trip to ISS is managed by U.S. company Space Adventures and will launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Maezawa is taking a film producer along for the ride, Yozo Hirano, who is tasked with documenting his time in outer space. They will be joined aboard Soyuz by a professional astronaut, Russian Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.
【4 days until Launch🚀】— Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) (@yousuckMZ) December 4, 2021
Assembling the Soyuz rocket.
Seeing it, I realize that the launch is so soon.
Total length of the rocket is 50m.
*Uploaded photos on my Instagram#MZJourneytoSpace pic.twitter.com/NjBmVtHTC3
Maezawa and Hirano will remain at the Space Station for 12-days during which they will enjoy views of Earth from the Space Station’s cupola and vlog for his YouTube channel. “Going on my space journey from Dec. 8 to 20. The International Space Station (ISS) will be my home for the two weeks. I’ll be tweeting my diary along with [hashtag] #MZJourneytoSpace,” he wrote. “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,” Maezawa stated.
Space Adventures did not disclose how much Maezawa paid for the private spaceflight. Historically, seven self-funded individuals have visited the Space Station and Maezawa will be the eighth and the first from Japan. Those space tourists reportedly paid over $25 million to visit the Space Station through missions managed by Space Adventures.
【6 days until Launch🚀】— Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) (@yousuckMZ) December 3, 2021
Final check of the Soyuz interior.
Making sure our payload and GoPro cameras are fitted in the right places inside the rocket. It’s really starting to kick in that we are flying soon😆#MZJourneytoSpace pic.twitter.com/RXavxwppVu
#Видео: ракета «Союз-2.1а» с кораблем #СоюзМС20 утром 5 декабря была установлена на стартовый стол площадки № 31 космодрома Байконур.— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) December 5, 2021
🇷🇺🚀🇯🇵 8 декабря на МКС должны отправиться космонавт Роскосмоса Александр Мисуркин, японский миллиардер Юсаку Маэзава и его помощник Йозо Хирано pic.twitter.com/5O7KIHLX2f
Featured Image Source: Yusaku Maezawa / Roscosmos