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A Japanese billionaire prepares for a space mission in December

According to the president of Space Adventures, the company that organized the flight, a forthcoming flight to space by a Japanese billionaire will allow the public to get a closer look at life on board the International Space Station.

Yusaku Maezawa, a fashion tycoon, will launch into space on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft on December 8 with producer Yozo Hirano, who will film his mission, and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.

According to Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures, Maezawa compiled a list of 100 things to do in space during a 12-day mission after soliciting ideas from the public.

“His intention is to try to share the experience of what it means to be in space with the general public,” Shelley told The Associated Press, adding that it will include “simple things about daily life to maybe some other fun activities, to more serious questions as well.”

Maezawa made his fortune in fashion retail, launching Zozotown, Japan’s largest online fashion mall. Forbes magazine estimates his net worth to be $2 billion.

“I’m dying to know, ‘What’s life like in space?'” So, I’m going to figure it out on my own and share it with the rest of the world,” Maezawa said earlier this year in a statement.

He and his film producer will be the space station’s first self-paying visitors since 2009. The trip’s cost has not been disclosed.

From 2001 to 2009, Space Adventures, a Virginia-based company, sent seven other tourists to the space station.

Maezawa has also reserved a flight around the moon aboard Elon Musk’s Starship, which is set to take place in 2023. He’ll be joined by the winners of eight contests.

Maezawa, who has been training with his crewmates at Russian space facilities, said during a news conference on Thursday that he was especially excited by training that mimicked zero gravity in orbit.

He described spacesuit training for emergencies on the station as physically demanding but interesting.

Maezawa mentioned that playing badminton in space with his Russian crewmate Misurkin was on his list of 100 things to do while on board the International Space Station.

Russian actor Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko are currently on the station filming the world’s first movie in orbit, a project the Kremlin says will help burnish the country’s space glory.

On Oct. 5, Peresild and Shipenko launched into orbit in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for a 12-day stay on the station to film segments of the film “Challenge,” in which Peresild plays a surgeon who rushes to the space station to save a crew member who requires an urgent operation in orbit.

Peresild and Shipenko are set to return to Earth on Sunday, along with another Russian cosmonaut, Oleg Novitskiy, who will play the ailing cosmonaut in the film.

Shelley also mentioned that Space Adventures has an agreement with Russian partners for two private customers to fly to the station in late 2023 or early 2024, during which one of them will conduct a spacewalk.

Video Of SpaceX’s All-Civilian Crew Return To Earth

He stated that the company is currently in talks with a number of potential customers and hopes to confirm the mission in the coming months.

“That’s never been done before,” Shelley told the Associated Press. “It’s something we’ve been looking forward to doing for a long time.”

AP News

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