Roscosmos Looks to Make Space Tourist Training Even Shorter

The three new residents aboard the station (front row, from left) are Russian actress Yulia Peresild, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, and Russian Producer Klim Shipenko. In the back, are Expedition 65 crew members Shane Kimbrough, Oleg Novitskiy, Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Pyotr Dubrov, Mark Vande Hei, and Akihiko Hoshide. (Credit: NASA TV)

TASS reports that it is theoretically possible to reduce the time it takes to train a non-professional astronaut (aka, space tourists or spaceflight participants) to fly to orbit aboard the Soyuz spacecraft to under the current four months. Paying customers used to spend months in training prior to a flight.

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Spacefaring Japanese Billionaire Maezawa Eyes Movie About Moneyless World

Soyuz MS-20 crew members Alexander Misurkin, Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano at a post-flight news conference. (Credit: CPK/Roscosmos)

Fresh off spending tens of millions of dollars for a 12-day trip to the International Space Station, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa wants to make a movie about a moneyless world. Right after spending hundreds of millions flying around the moon. TASS reports:

“I want to shoot movies about the no-money world. My explanation is not good so, people cannot understand what I imagine, so maybe I need a movie for understanding these things,” he said.

“In 2023, I will go on the flight to the Moon…, go to space again, and maybe after that,” Maezawa replied to a question about when his film should be expected to hit the screens. “In 2025 or 2026.”

Maezawa said in an interview with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin that the movie would serve to convey an idea about getting rid of money.

“Certainly, money will disappear from our world. We can imagine that,” Maezawa stated.

Sure. Why not?

Japanese Billionaire Lands After 12 Days in Space

Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft descends under a parachute. (Credit: Roscosmos)

VIENNA, Va. (Space Adventures PR) — Space Adventures, Inc., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced the Russian Soyuz MS-20 carrying Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) and his production assistant, Yozo Hirano, successfully landed in Kazakhstan following their spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS). The duo’s journey lasted a total of 12 days under the command of Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.

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Japanese Billionaire Arrives at International Space Station

Soyuz MS-20 on approach to the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano on the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft docked to the International Space Station at 8:40 a.m. EST while the station was traveling 260 miles over the Atlantic Ocean. Coverage of hatch opening and welcome remarks will air at 10:15 a.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

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This Week in Launches: Japanese Tourist, New Shepard, NASA Laser Experiment, X-ray Satellite & More

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

Schedule subject to change without notice.

December 7

Launch Vehicle: Atlas 5 (United Launch Alliance)
Payloads: STP-6 and several rideshares
Launch Window: 4:04-6:04 a.m. EST (0904-1104 UTC)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

The U.S. Space Force mission will launch the STPSat-6 satellite and several secondary payloads. STPSat 6 hosts NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration payload and the Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System-3 for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

OUTCOME: Success

December 8

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2.1a (Roscosmos)
Payload: Soyuz MS-20
Launch Time: 2:38 a.m. EST (0738 UTC)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will fly Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant, Yozo Hirano, to the International Space Station on a 12-day mission.

OUTCOME: Success

Launch Vehicle: Electron (Rocket Lab)
Payloads: BlackSky 14 & 15 Earth observation satellites
Launch Time: 6:45 p.m. EST (2345 UTC)
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Webcast: www.rocketlab.com

December 9

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 (SpaceX)
Payload: Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer
Launch Window: 1:00-2:30 a.m. EST (0600-0730 UTC)
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

Launch Vehicle: New Shepard (Blue Origin)
Payload: New Shepard
Launch Time: TBA
Launch Site: Corn Ranch, Texas
Webcast: www.blueorigin.com

Laura Shepard Churchley will fly aboard a suborbital craft named in honor of her late father, NASA astronaut Alan Shepard, who became the first American in space 60 years ago and walked on the moon a decade later. She will be joined by: Good Morning America co-host Michael Strahan; Voyager Space chairman and CEO Dylan Taylor; Lance Bess, principal and founder of Bess Ventures and Advisory; Lance’s son Cameron Bess; and Evan Dick, managing member of Dick Holdings. This will be the 19th launch of the New Shepard system.

UPDATE: Postponed to Saturday, Dec. 11.

December 12

Launch Vehicle: Proton (Roscosmos)
Payloads: Express AMU3 & Express AMU7 communications satellites
Launch Time: 7:09 a.m. EST (1209 UTC)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Webcast: www.roscosmos.com

Preparations Continue at Baikonur for Japanese Billionaire’s Launch to International Space Station

Spaceflight participant Yozo Hiro, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participant Yusaku Maezawa. (Credit: Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — Baikonur Cosmodrome continues preparations for launching the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-20 crewed spacecraft. On the previous day, the Soyuz-2.1a/Soyuz MS-20 rocket was rolled out to the Site 31 launchpad (‘Vostok’), after which Roscosmos specialists conducted work on the L-3 day schedule, no issues were revealed.

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Soyuz MS-20 Spacecraft Check Inspection Conducted

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

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the 20th expedition to the ISS crews conducted a check inspection of the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft. After an introductory briefing, the cosmonauts and spaceflight participants familiarized themselves with the composition, placement of cargo and equipment in the descent vehicle and in the habitable compartment. At the end of the inspection, the crews returned no remarks and thanked all the specialists for their work.

According to the prelaunch tradition, the prime and backup crews also visited the Baikonur Cosmodrome museum, known for its unique collection of exhibits. Alexander Misurkin, and the spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano signed the autographs and left notes and wishes in the visitors’ book.

Less than a week is left before the launch of the Soyuz MS-20 crewed vehicle, which will take the EP-20 crew to the International Space Station. The launch is scheduled for December 8, 2021; the mission duration will be 12 days.

The prime crew consists of Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano; the backup crew consists of Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and spaceflight participant Shun Ogiso.

NASA to Provide Live Coverage of Billionaire’s Blastoff to the International Space Station

Spaceflight participant Yozo Hiro, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participant Yusaku Maezawa. (Credit: Roscosmos)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide live coverage of key events in the mission of a veteran Russian cosmonaut and two Japanese private citizens set to launch to the International Space Station on Wednesday, Dec. 8, and return to Earth on Sunday, Dec. 19.

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Japanese Space Tourists to Carry Out Experiments on ISS

Yusaku Maezawa participates in a pre-flight medical experiment. (Credit: CPK/Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Rocosmos PR) — During each long half-year expedition to the International Space Station, Russian cosmonauts conduct more than fifty experiments in various scientific fields. However, for space medicine, even a short flight is a source of information for the development of means and methods for maintaining the health of crews in zero gravity.

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Upcoming Launches Include Space Tourism Flight

Spaceflight participant Yozo Hiro, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participant Yusaku Maezawa. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Dates and times subject to change without notice. And remember: no wagering.

December 1

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payloads: 53 Starlink broadband satellites
Location: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
Time: 6:20 p.m. EST (2320 GMT)
Webcast: www.spacex.com

December 1/2

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz ST-B/Fregat-MT
Payloads: Galileo 27 & 28 navigation satellites
Location: Guiana Space Center
Time: 7:31 p.m. EST (0031 GMT on Dec. 2)
Webcast: https://www.youtube.com/c/arianespace

December 5

Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Payloads: U.S. Space Force LDPE-1 space tug; STPSat-6 technology demonstrator with NASA Laser Communications Relay Demonstration payload
Location: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
Time: 4:04-6:04 a.m. EST (0904-1104 GMT)
Webcast: http://www.ulalaunch.com

December 8

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz-2.1a
Payload: Soyuz MS-20 crewed vehicle
Location: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazahkstan
Time: 2:38 a.m. EST (07:38 GMT)
Webcast: www.roscosmos.ru

Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and space tourists Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano will lift off on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station.

December 9

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer
Location: Kennedy Space Center
Time: 1:00-2:30 a.m. EST (0600-0730 GMT)
Webcast: www.spacex.com

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.

Japanese Billionaire Medically Cleared for Flight to Space Station

Spaceflight participant Yozo Hiro, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participant Yusaku Maezawa. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Chief Medical Commission meeting was held at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) to analyze medical examination data of the cosmonauts and the spaceflight participants of the 20th visiting expedition to the International Space Station.

The Commission consisted of the representatives of GCTC, Roscosmos, Federal Medico-Biological Agency, Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Ministry of Health and Russian Ministry of Defense.

By the decision of the commission Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, spaceflight Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano (EP-20 prime crew) and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and Shun Ogiso (EP-20 backup crew) were deemed medically fit for spaceflight.

The Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft is scheduled to launch on December 8, 2021 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The flight is to last 12 days.

Last Week in the Dmitrys: Roscosmos, Glavkosmos Bosses Talk SpaceX, Tourism and More

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The International Astronautical Congress wrapped up last week in Dubai. Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin and Glavkosmos boss Dmitry Loskutov held forth during the conference on SpaceX, space tourism and other topics.

Roscosmos is the state-owned corporation that runs Russia’s space program. Glavkosmos is Roscosmos’ commercial arm.

Cosmonauts to fly on Crew Dragon: Rogozin said SpaceX’s Crew Dragon now has enough flights under its belt for Russian cosmonauts to fly aboard it. Crew Dragon has flown three crews to the International Space Station (ISS) and a group of amateur astronauts on a three-day orbital flight. Roscosmos and NASA will pursue a barter agreement that will allow U.S. astronauts to fly on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Before Crew Dragon began flights, NASA was paying Roscosmos $90 million per seat to fly its astronauts to ISS.

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Space Adventures Cancels Earth Orbit Tourism Mission

Space Adventures says it was forced to cancel a reservation with SpaceX to send four paying passengers on a multi-day tourist trip to Earth orbit. Agence France-Presse reports:

“Ultimately our reservation with SpaceX expired and that’s not a mission that we are going to be executing in the immediate future,” Shelley said, but did not rule out future partnerships with the company.

Space Adventures was not about to work out the right mix of timing and price before the reservation expired. The trip would have been similar to the recently completed Inspiration4 flight, which saw four amateur astronauts orbit the Earth for three days aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Space Adventures and the Russian space corporation Roscosmos is sending up Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant, Yozo Hirano, to the International Space Station for 12 days aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in December. Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will command the flight.

Russian Government Allocates $60.6 Million for Future Soyuz Tourist Flight

The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft is seen as it lands in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan with Expedition 62 crew members Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan of NASA, and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, Friday, April 17, 2020. Meir and Skripochka returned after 205 days in space, and Morgan after 272 days in space. All three served as Expedition 60-61-62 crew members onboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/GCTC/Andrey Shelepin)

The Russian government has allocated $60.6 million (4.4 billion rubles) to the Roscosmos subsidiary Glavkosmos to produce a Soyuz 2.1a rocket and Soyuz MS spacecraft for a space tourism flight scheduled for 2024, according to Space Daily.

Glavkosmos head Dmitry Loskutov said in May that the company was already in talks with potential space tourists and was simultaneously working on putting together a reserve of Soyuz spaceships to make the first tourist flight possible in late 2023.

Now that SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is carrying astronauts to the station, Russia has restarted spaceflights for paying customers. On Oct. 5, the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft will carry Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko to the International Space Station (ISS). Peresild and Shipenko will shoot scenes for a movie titled, “Challenge,” during a spaceflight lasting 12 days.

On Dec. 8, the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft will carry Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, and Maezawa’s assistant Yozo Hirano to ISS on a 12-day spaceflight.