Soyuz MS-20 space tourism flight poised for launch

Roscosmos and Space Adventures are set to the launch Soyuz MS-20 space tourism mission to the International Space Station for a 12-day stay. The crew of three—including two Japanese space tourists—will fly onboard the Soyuz spacecraft, with liftoff currently targeted for 7:38 UTC (2:38 a.m. EST) Wednesday, December 8, 2021, from Site 31/6 at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Soyuz MS-20 crew Onboard the Soyuz will be Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire known for starting online businesses Start Today and Zozo. In addition to his Soyuz mission, he has a circumlunar flight aboard SpaceX’s Starship—called “dearMoon”—booked for no earlier than 2023. Maezawa purchased both available seats on this flight of Soyuz. He will be joined by Yozo Hirano—a media producer from Zozo—who will document the MS-20 mission. This flight will mark the first time two Japanese astronauts fly together, as well as the first flight of any Japanese space tourist. The mission will be commanded by experienced Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, on what will be his third spaceflight. During the mission, he will stand ready to pilot the Soyuz in case the automated guidance software fails. The Crew of Soyuz MS-20 posed in front of their capsule. From left to right,…

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Soyuz MS-20 space tourism flight poised for launch

Updated: December 7, 2021 — 9:26 pm