KOMPAS.com – Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa returned to Earth after a 12-day “vacation” to space, Monday (20/12/2021).
Previously, the 46-year-old fashion magnate and art collector flew from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on December 8, 2021.
He departed with his assistant Yozo Hirano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.
“The crew felt good,” said a commentator on NASA TV, translating comments from Russian mission control AFP.
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Everyday life in space
Their trip marked Russia’s return to space projects after a decade-long hiatus.
The trio spent 12 days in the orbiting laboratory and documenting their daily lives aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Speaking to his one million followers on YouTube, Maezawa explains how to sleep, brush his teeth and go to the bathroom in space.
In one of the videos, he explains in detail the affairs of defecation on the ISS.
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In another video, he shows his followers how to properly drink tea and sleep in zero gravity.
Also a number of other daily activities carried out in space can be seen in the following video:
When the three space explorers arrive at the ISS on December 8, 2021, they are joined by a crew of seven involved in research into space biology and physics.
This marks the end of his rehearsal for a trip around the Moon with SpaceX in 2023.
Maezawa and his assistants are the first private Japanese citizens to visit outer space since journalist Toyohiro Akiyama traveled to Mir station in 1990.
Their return from space capped a year many considered a turning point for personal space travel.
That’s because billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have all made inroads into commercial tourism flights this year, breaking into the market Russia wants to defend.
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Russia has a history of sending self-funded tourists into space.
In partnership with US-based company Space Adventures, Russian space agency Roscosmos has previously taken seven tourists to the ISS since 2001.
The last tourist was Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte in 2009.
In October 2021, Russia launched its first untrained cosmonaut into space since the Laliberte voyage.
He escorted a Russian actress and director to the ISS to shoot the first film scene in orbit.
Moscow has stopped sending tourists into space after NASA shut down the Space Shuttle in 2011.
NASA bought all of the Soyuz launch seats for a reported $90 million per space and effectively ended tourist flights.
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Last year, all that changed when the SpaceX spacecraft managed to send its first astronauts to the ISS.
NASA began buying flights from SpaceX, competing with Russia for its monopoly and costing the starving space agency millions of dollars in revenue.
While the cost of tickets to space for tourists has not been disclosed, Space Adventures has indicated they are in the $50-60 million range (around IDR 720 billion to IDR 864 billion).
Roscosmos plans to continue developing its space tourism business, operating two Soyuz rockets for such trips.
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