The countdown has begun for Yusaku Maezawa: Tomorrow morning, the Japanese billionaire – along with his assistant – will board the Russian Soyuz and set course for the International Space Station not long after.

Tomorrow morning, at a little after 8.00 (Dutch time), the Soyuz MS-20 takes to the skies. Alongside Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, there are two space tourists on board: Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano. The two Japanese will spend 12 days on the ISS. They will not only enjoy the view from the space station orbiting the earth at an altitude of 400 kilometers; there is also work to be done. In Yusaku Maezawa’s case, it means he’ll be capturing life aboard the ISS and broadcasting it through his own YouTube channel.

To the moon

Perhaps the name Yusaku Maezawa sounds familiar to you. That could be right. A few years ago, Elon Musk announced that Maezawa had bought up all the seats on the spacecraft that SpaceX wants to use to orbit the moon. That flight should take place sometime in 2023. But apparently Maezawa can’t wait that long and so he also bought two seats aboard the Soyuz.

Space Adventures

Maezawa did that via Space Adventures, a company that previously brought seven space tourists to the ISS. The company buys the seats back from the owner of the Soyuz: the Russian space agency.

How much does that cost?

What Maezawa will have to pay to fly to the ISS is unknown. But according to rumors, his predecessors would have paid between 20 and 35 million dollars. A similar price tag won’t deter Maezawa; he has an estimated net worth of $1.9 billion.


For those who want to follow in the footsteps of Maezawa has Space Adventures good news. In 2023 there will be another opportunity to fly to the ISS with the Soyuz. There are also two seats available for space tourists. And one of those space tourists would also be allowed to take a spacewalk. That’s a first; never before has a space tourist walked outside the ISS.

In recent months there has been a lot of activity in the field of space tourism. For example, in October – also aboard a Soyuz capsule – another Russian actress and director flew to the ISS. In addition, the space companies Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic also started transporting tourists. And SpaceX put four space tourists into orbit, where they could enjoy the view for three days. And that’s not all; this week, Blue Origin will again take six people to slightly more than 100 kilometers altitude. And Virgin Galactic also plans to regularly organize sub-orbital flights. In addition, the company Axiom Space has also planned four more manned flights to the ISS, one of which would be manned by Tom Cruise, among others. Furthermore, as mentioned, SpaceX is working towards a mission in which space tourists – including Maezawa – will fly around the moon.

Space tourism seems to be really taking off now. But is that true? Read more about it here!