SpaceX will resume private space travel later this year with a launch that will take Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa to the International Space Station (ISS). The tour will be carried out by Space Adventures, a branch of SpaceX, which sells space trips on the Russian Space Agency’s Soyuz aircraft. According to information released, the takeoff is due to take place in Kazakhstan on 8 December.
Evidently, this is not the first “private tour” undertaken by the company. As an example, in 2006, American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari hired the service. Three years later, in 2009, Guy Laliberté, CEO of Cirqué du Soleil, also ventured out. This, however, was the last trip taken by Space Adventures, with the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.
Now, the company will not only carry out a “reopening” flight this year, but another trip in 2023, also hired by Yusaku Maezawa, who plans to pass the Moon aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Accompanied by production assistant Yozo Hirano, the billionaire plans to record all the details of the first tour and share it on YouTube.
Before venturing out, however, Maezawa will do three months of training for the journey, which should take about 12 days. In addition to being the first private voyage to the ISS in more than 10 years, this will also be the first time that two crew members have flown in the Soyuz spacecraft.