Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Begins Training Sessions for Upcoming Spaceflight at Baikonur

Soyuz MS-20 crew members Yozo Hirano, Alexander Misurkin and Yusaku Maezawa. (Credit: Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — The beginning of the final stage of preparation for a flight into space is prelaunch training of crews at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  Today is the first day of training sessions for cosmonauts and space flight participants of the 20th visiting crew to the ISS.

On the morning of November 20, 2021, the main and backup crews arrived at the assembly and test building of site No. 254 to undergo the first training in the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft. Under the supervision of specialists from the State Corporation Roscosmos, they tried on the Sokol KV-2 flight suits, tested them for tightness and took their places in the ship. After that, we got acquainted with the locations of the cargoes in the utility compartment and the descent vehicle, performed work with the equipment that was to be operated on board the International Space Station.

Further exercises at Baikonur include training on manual docking of the Soyuz MS manned spacecraft to the Russian segment of the ISS, control of laying with scientific equipment for space experiments, ballistic operations testing and other preparatory procedures.

The launch is scheduled for December 8, 2021 from the Vostok launch complex of the Baikonur cosmodrome. The flight to the International Space Station will last 12 days under a contract with Space Adventures. The commander of the prime crew is Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, while Yusaku Maezawa, President of the Start Today corporation, and Yozo Hirano, Yusaku Maezawa’s personal assistant, were appointed to the prime crew. Their backup crew: Alexander Skvortsov and Shun Ogiso.