PICTURED: Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is training for his 12-day stay on the ISS after purchasing a ticket on a Russian rocket set to launch in December

  • Yusaku Maezawa purchased two seat on a Russian Soyuz rocket to the ISS – one for him and his assistant 
  • He and his assistant will spent 12 day on the ISS after launching on December 8
  • The pair are currently in Russia training for the epic spaceflight where they are learning how to behave in zero gravity and emergency protocols
  •  Maezawa also purchased an entire SpaceX spaceflight to the moon set as early as 2023

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is preparing for an epic journey to the International Space Station (ISS) set for December 8.

Maezawa purchased a seat aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for himself and his production assistant who will document the out of this world experience.

The pair is currently training at a facility in Moscow, Russia, where they are learning how to behave in zero-gravity and learn specific protocols in the event of an emergency.

The future space tourists will spend 12 days aboard the giant orbiting laboratory and Maezawa plans to share his visit on YouTube.

It is not known how much Maezawa paid for the seats, but NASA purchased spots on the rocket for its astronauts and has paid at least $81 million per person. 

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Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is preparing for an epic journey to the International Space Station (ISS) set for December 8

In total, seven self-funded individuals have visited the space station and Maezawa plans to be the 8th and the first from Japan.

The mission will be led by Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.

Maezawa, his assistant Yozo Hirano and back-up participant Shun Ogiso are completing training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow.

There they are floating around in zero-gravity chambers to get the feel of space.

The pair is currently training at a facility in Moscow, Russia, where they are learning how to behave in zero-gravity and learn specific protocols in the event of an emergency

Maezawa  (left) purchased a seat aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for himself and his production assistant, Yozo Hirano (right) who will document the out of this world experience. The mission will be led by Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin (center)

‘I’ve been alive for 45 years and have not experienced anything like that. I felt awkward at first,’ Maezawa said via a translator at a news conference, where he appeared alongside his assistant and Misurkin.

‘I couldn’t control the movement of my arms and legs. But when I got used to it a little bit, it was very pleasant.’

He said he was having to train for months before the flight, and that he did not feel fear or anxiety so far.

‘Our inspiration is growing,’ he added. 

The mission is one of several this year by non-professional astronauts, including 90-year-old ‘Star Trek’ actor William Shatner, who on Wednesday completed a space flight on board a Blue Origin rocket.

Maezawa, his assistant Yozo Hirano and back-up participant Shun Ogiso are completing training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow. There they are floating around in zero-gravity chambers to get the feel of space


‘I’ve been alive for 45 years and have not experienced anything like that. I felt awkward at first,’ Maezawa said about his experience in zero gravity

Maezawa, who made his fortune in the fashion industry, made headlines in 2018 when he purchased an entire SpaceX flight to the moon – though the amount paid has not been revealed.

The mission is set for as early as 2023 and will last for a total of seven days.

The craft, however, will only orbit the moon and will not land on its surface.

The billionaire had initially offered a seat to one lucky woman, but canceled his hunt and decided to let eight individuals join him to the moon through a contest called Project dearMoon.

Project dearMoon is expected to take three days to reach the moon, loop around it, and take three days to return to Earth, Maezawa said.

In total, seven self-funded individuals have visited the space station and Maezawa plans to be the 8th and the first from Japan

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin (L) and Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa take part in a training session ahead of the Soyuz MS-20 spaceflight to the ISS, at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center

There will be between ten and 12 people on board the ship in total, including Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX crew and the eight volunteers.

Maezawa and his band of astronauts will become the first lunar voyagers since the last US Apollo mission in 1972 – if SpaceX can pull the trip off.

It could be a close race with NASA though, as the US space agency is presently scheduled to launch Artemis II in the summer of 2023 – this will see a crew fly on the Orion spacecraft around the moon then journey back to Earth.

However, even if NASA does beat Maezawa to a 2023 lunar joyride, his passengers will still be the first civilians to go further than low Earth orbit.

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