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Japanese billionaire, Russian actress, prepares to fly to IS

WASHINGTON – A Japanese billionaire known for purchasing a SpaceX Starship flight around the moon will go into space for the first time aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station, two months after a Russian actor and director visited. At the station

Space travel company Space Adventures and Russian space agency Roscosmos announced on May 13 that Yusaku Maezawa will fly to the ISS on the Soyuz MS-20 mission, which will be launched on December 8 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, he will be accompanied. With Production Assistant Yozo Hirano on a 12-day flight commanded by Russian astronaut Alexander Misurkin.

“We are excited about Maezawa-san and we are honored to have given him the opportunity to fly into space,”

; said Eric Anderson, president and chief executive of Space Adventures, in a statement.

The mission will be the first commissioner by Space Adventures, which arranges all previous space tourists to visit the International Space Station, as Canadian founder Guy Laliberté flew to the station in 2009.British singer Sarah Brightman was on his way. Flew to the station in 2015 through a deal organized by Space Adventures, but she backed months in advance, citing personal issues.

Space Adventures worked on the mission, which was the first commercial Soyuz flight exclusively to the station, but the Maezawa and Hirano selection was a surprise. Earlier reports indicated that Austrian pilot Johanna Maislinger and Japanese singer Yumi Matsutoya will fly aboard the Soyuz MS-20.

Maezawa, a billion-dollar entrepreneur with Japanese online apparel retailer Zozo, is best known in the space industry in his decision to buy SpaceX Starship in 2018, he said he plans to fly. Go on that mission with eight artists.

In March, Maezawa announced a competition to select people to accompany him on the “DearMoon” mission scheduled for 2023. The process is scheduled to conclude with crew selection by the end of June. But the project was not provided. Any public updates from the end of March and some general details about the process will be used to determine who comes up with Maezawa.

“I am so curious that ‘How is life in space’? So I plan to do a search for myself and share it with the world on my YouTube channel, ”Maesawa said in a statement to Space Adventures, adding that Hirano“ will be responsible for documenting Mr. Maezawa’s mission. ”

Maezawa said he still plans to fly a Starship around the moon “to the International Space Station before the moon,” he tweeted.

The announcement of the Space Adventures flight comes the same day Roscosmos announced that actress Yulia Peresild will join director Klim Shipenko and Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov on the Soyuz MS-19 mission to the ISS, which will be launched on the day. October 5

Peresild and Shipenko will spend 12 days on the station filming scenes for the Russian film “Vyzov” (“The Challenge”) that Roscosmos produced by Russian network First Channel will both return aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft. Station with Oleg Novitsky

Novitsky launched aboard the Soyuz MS-18 on April 9 with Russian astronauts Pyotr Dubrov and Mark Vande Hei, American astronauts Dubrov and Vande Hei, must be on the station for the extended mission, as their seats will be occupied. Occupied by Peresild and Shipenko.

Vande Hei was officially added to the Soyuz MS-18, just a month before its launch after NASA and Roscosmos struck a deal for a third-party-related seat, Axiom Space said before launch that he knew he could outlast. A typical six-month increase on the station “Actually, for me, it’s just a chance for a new life experience. I’ve never been in space for more than six months, ”he said.“ I’m really enthusiastic about it. ”

Peresild, the actress who has appeared in Russian television and movies, is one of four finalists for the mission. Another actress Alena Mordovina will train as a substitute for this mission. Third finalist Galina Kairova, a pilot and an amateur actress, was invited by Roscosmos to train to become a professional astronaut.

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