Soyuz MS-20 Crew Shares Highlights of ISS Flight

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

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On Monday, December 20, 2021, the crew of the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft returned to Earth from a space expedition. For the Hero of Russia, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, she was the third in a row and the shortest – only twelve days. The crew commander was tasked with delivering to the ISS and then returning to Earth the Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano, who made space travel as tourists.

Now the crew of visiting crew 20 to the ISS is undergoing rehabilitation at Star City and is participating in traditional post-flight activities. Today, December 22, 2021, Alexander Misurkin, Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano shared their impressions of the space flight with journalists and social media users. The event was held in an online format together with the State Corporation Roscosmos, CTC and the TASS news agency.

Many people know that, on average, professional cosmonauts and astronauts spend about six months on the ISS. Journalists asked Alexander Misurkin which expeditions are easier: short or long. According to the astronaut, there is no unequivocal answer to this question. However, he compared a long expedition with a marathon, and a short one with running a short distance, when you need to develop maximum speed, from which energy costs certainly increase.

Speaking about the peculiarities of the 20th visiting crew to the ISS, Alexander Misurkin noted that for him personally it was the first experience of flying a spacecraft alone. Usually the spacecraft commander is assisted by a flight engineer, but this crew included only space flight participants.“I want to say thank you to domestic rocket designers for creating reliable technology. Steering the ship on your own was not as difficult as it might seem. I am also grateful to the members of my crew, ”said Alexander Misurkin.

Not being professional cosmonauts, the flight participants can help the crew commander by following his instructions, but their functionality is strictly limited. The Japanese tourists successfully coped with the tasks set by Alexander Misurkin.

Among the questions that were addressed to Yusaku Maezawa, the leading question was about one hundred assignments that the Japanese entrepreneur gave himself before the flight into space. Everyone was interested in whether he managed to accomplish his plans in 12 days in orbit. Yusaku Maezawa said that he completed about 70-80 buildings, the rest did not have time.“Twelve days in space was not enough, because the first days you just get used to the environment. The ideal option for traveling with a tourist purpose for me is probably twenty days, ”said Mr. Maezawa.

The Japanese entrepreneur also talked about how the space flight influenced his worldview. He came to the conclusion that the Earth really needs care, became convinced of the need to sort the waste and seriously thought about the diet of astronauts. Yusaku Maezawa believes that canned and freeze-dried foods should not be the basis of nutrition, which means that it is necessary to develop new technologies to provide the ISS crew with a variety of foods.

Commander Alexander Misurkin promised that, together with Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, they would choose the three most interesting questions sent to the competition announced on the official social networks of the CPC. Photos with autographs of the crew will be sent to the winners.