46-year-old Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa returned to Earth after spending 12 days aboard the International Space Station. This was reported by the Russian space agency. Maezawa (multi-billionaire online fashion tycoon) and his assistant, Yozo Hirano, parachuted into the steppe of Kazakhstan around 03:13 local time, along with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin. “The flight of the” tourist “spacecraft” Soyuz MS-20 “has been completed,” Roscosmos said in a note on its website.
Life on board the ISS
On board the ISS, the two space tourists shot several videos showing, for example, the billionaire’s assistant explaining in detail to his millions of followers how to brush his teeth or go to the bathroom in the absence of gravity. Maezawa and his assistant are the first Japanese tourists to space since 1990, when a reporter stayed aboard the Soviet Mir station.
The future of private space flights
The highly profitable private space flight sector saw the recent entry of the companies of American billionaires Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), as well as that of the
British Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic). In September, SpaceX hosted a three-day orbital flight with an all-civilian crew. SpaceX is expected to bring several tourists around the moon in 2023, including Maezawa himself, who is funding this operation. The journey that is about to end marks the return after more than ten years of
Roscosmos, the Russian aerospace industry embroiled in corruption scandals and technical and financial difficulties.