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Japanese Billionaire Arrives at International Space Station

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 8, 2021
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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.

Once on station, the trio will join Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, as well as NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, for approximately 12 days on the orbital laboratory.

On Sunday, Dec. 19, Misurkin, Maezawa, and Hirano will complete their mission, undocking the Soyuz from the Poisk module before heading for a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 10:18 p.m. EST (9:18 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, Kazakhstan time).

NASA TV coverage times for the Soyuz MS-20 return are as follows (all times Eastern):

Sunday, Dec. 19

3 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for hatch closing at 3:32 p.m.

6:30 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for undocking at 6:54 p.m.

9 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for deorbit and landing. Landing is targeted for 10:18 p.m.

This mission is Misurkin’s third flight into space and the first flight for Maezawa and Mirano, who are making their trek into space under a contract between Space Adventures and Roscosmos.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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4 responses to “Japanese Billionaire Arrives at International Space Station”

  1. Pete Zaitcev says:

    Nice. Not a lot of fanfare.

    • delphinus100 says:

      Except perhaps for the very first one (Denis Tito), there wasn’t much fanfare when the Russians used to do this.

      I do wish Sara Brightman hadn’t changed her mind, though. A celebrity could’ve been interesting back then as well.

  2. therealdmt says:

    The Maezawa guy is serious, that’s for sure. Hopefully he has a great experience and pushes forward with his Dear Moon plans

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