Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has arrived at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center and plans to cooperate with Roscosmos for a flight into space earlier than with Elon Musk.
Russian media reports he opted to link up with the Russians after he got tired of waiting for Musk’s starship to go around the Moon.
Yusaku Maezawa, 45, is a Japanese billionaire entrepreneur and art collector who launched Japan’s largest online fashion retail website Zozotown.
In 2018 it was announced that Maezawa will be the first commercial passenger who will fly around the Moon aboard a SpaceX spacecraft. The flight is scheduled to take place no earlier than 2023, with a duration of almost six days.
But before that, he will go on a trip to the International Space Station via the Soyuz MC-20 Starship. He aims to spend 12 days on the orbital machine to experience a long-term space trip.
The entrepreneur has already shared for his 1 Million Instagram followers photos from the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia on 11th July.
He wrote: “Can’t express well enough the feeling when wearing a spacesuit. It is a feeling of great excitement and relief. A third of my training in Russia is over. Will continue to work hard for launch on December 8th!”
According to the news website Life, the first stage of training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center lasted about a month. The Japanese studied the systems of the Soyuz-Mc spacecraft and the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS).
From September, the training will focus on the medical and biological side to prepare for the space expedition that will take place in less than half a year.
Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin has been named commander of the crew with which the entrepreneur will fly to the orbital space station.
The Japanese billionaire’s agreement with Musk about the flight around the Moon remains in force, however, he was so keen to go into space that he also arranged to travel with the Russians to take him up earlier than with the Musk starship.