Space Adventures’ Clients, Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano, Launch to International Space Station
Japanese entrepreneur and production assistant begin 12-day journey of a lifetime
Space Adventures, Inc., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced that Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) and his production assistant, Yozo Hirano, successfully launched on the Russian Soyuz MS-20 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome today beginning their 12-day journey in space under the command of Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.
In preparation for his flight to the International Space Station (ISS), Mr. Maezawa and his crew completed approximately three months of spaceflight training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Shun Osigo also completed spaceflight training as a back-up crew member.
Furthering his intent to engage the world in the wonders of life in space, Mr. Maezawa crowdsourced ideas from the public for his ‘100 Things You Want MZ To Do in Space’ campaign – from flying paper airplanes to playing badminton with a cosmonaut – which he will share on his YouTube channel throughout his mission.
Along with his current mission arranged by Space Adventures, he will also be the host of the ‘dearMoon’ mission – a circumlunar flight onboard SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft currently scheduled to launch in 2023.
“During my spaceflight training, I’ve been eagerly looking forward to answering questions about life in space. As I prepare to launch, I am excited to share every aspect of my journey with everyone on Earth,” said Mr. Maezawa prior to launch. “I also see this trip as an opportunity to ready myself to be the best host possible when I, and eight talented crewmates from around the world, embark on the first civilian mission around the moon in 2023.”
Eric Anderson, Chairman and CEO of Space Adventures, Inc. said, “It’s been a year of incredible progress for commercial spaceflight. Today, we celebrate the launch of MZ, as well as Yozo, which marks Space Adventures’ first mission carrying two private citizens.”
“Space Adventures arranged the first private spaceflight in history for Dennis Tito in 2001. Now in the 20th anniversary year, Tito’s and Space Adventures’ cooperation to realize the first space tourist mission has paved the way for all space tourists since then, and to come. This year alone, the industry has seen numerous flights to space lasting a few minutes, a few days, or in MZ’s case, nearly two weeks. Humanity is opening up space for all, and its clear private spaceflight has a key role to play. We’re honored to be a part of this journey and to continue to expand the future of spaceflight,” Mr. Anderson concluded.
Space Adventures has been cooperating with Roscosmos since the world’s first space tourist flight in 2001. The successful launch of Mr. Maezawa and Mr. Hirano’s flight makes them the eighth and ninth private astronauts to have visited the space station and the first private spaceflight participants from Japan.
About Yusaku Maezawa
Yusaku Maezawa, CEO of Start Today, Ltd., is a Japanese e-commerce entrepreneur and world-renowned art collector. He founded ZOZO, Ltd., a publicly traded online retail clothing business, which he sold to Yahoo! Japan in 2019. Along with the Soyuz MS-20 mission to the ISS, he also plans to participate in a circumlunar mission onboard SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft currently scheduled to launch in 2023.
About Yozo Hirano
Yozo Hirano joined ZOZO, Ltd. after graduating from university where he became the casting director of the photography team. Currently, he is working at SPACETODAY as a film producer. On the ISS, Mr. Hirano will be responsible for documenting Mr. Maezawa’s mission.
About Space Adventures
Space Adventures organized the flights for the world’s first private astronauts (Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari, Charles Simonyi, Richard Garriott and Guy Laliberté) and today offers a variety of spaceflight missions to low-Earth orbit, the International Space Station, and beyond.