‘Peeing is very easy’: Japanese billionaire returns to Earth after documenting life on ISS | International Space Station

A Japanese billionaire has returned to Earth after 12 days spent on the International Space Station, the place he made movies about performing mundane duties in area together with brushing his enamel and going to the bathroom.

On-line vogue tycoon Yusaku Maezawa and his assistant Yozo Hirano parachuted on to Kazakhstan’s steppe at across the anticipated touchdown time of 03.13 GMT on Monday, together with Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, Russia’s area company mentioned.

“The flight of the ‘vacationer’ spacecraft Soyuz MS-20 has been accomplished,” Roscosmos mentioned in a press release on its web site.

The journey marked Russia’s return to area tourism after a decade-long pause that noticed the rise of competitors from the US.


The trio spent 12 days on the orbiting laboratory, the place the Japanese vacationers documented their each day life aboard the ISS for Maezawa’s common YouTube channel.

Addressing his 1 million followers on YouTube, the 46-year-old billionaire defined how to brush enamel and go to the bathroom in area. In one of many movies, he defined intimately the enterprise of relieving oneself on the ISS.

A live broadcast from the Soyuz capsule’s landing site is shown at Russia’s mission control centre in Korolyov outside Moscow
A dwell broadcast from the Soyuz capsule’s touchdown website is proven at Russia’s mission management centre in Korolyov outdoors Moscow. {Photograph}: Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Photos

“Peeing is very simple,” he mentioned as he demonstrated a handheld funnel astronauts use to suck urine away.

In different movies, he confirmed his followers how to correctly drink tea and sleep in zero gravity.

When the three area travellers arrived on the ISS on 8 December, they joined a seven-team crew who had been engaged in area biology and physics analysis.

Maezawa plans to take eight individuals with him on a 2023 mission across the moon, operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. He and his assistant are the primary personal Japanese residents to go to area since journalist Toyohiro Akiyama travelled to the Mir station in 1990.

Their return from area caps a banner yr that many have seen as a turning level for personal area journey.

Billionaires Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson all made breakthrough business tourism flights this yr, bursting right into a market Russia is eager to defend.

Russia has a historical past of sending self-funded vacationers to area. In partnership with US-based firm Space Adventures, Roscosmos has beforehand taken seven vacationers to the ISS since 2001 – considered one of them twice.

Yusaku Maezawa, Alexander Misurkin and Yozo Hirano in training before their space trip
Yusaku Maezawa (left), Alexander Misurkin and Yozo Hirano in coaching earlier than their area journey.
{Photograph}: Mikhail Japaridze/Tass

The final was Canada’s Cirque du Soleil co-founder Man Laliberte, who was dubbed the primary clown in area, in 2009.

In October, Russia launched its first untrained cosmonauts into area since Laliberte’s journey, delivering a Russian actress and a director to the ISS, the place they filmed scenes for the primary film in orbit.

Moscow had stopped sending vacationers to area after Nasa retired its area shuttle in 2011, which left Russia with a monopoly on supplying the ISS.


Nasa purchased up all Soyuz launch seats for a reported $90m per spot – successfully ending vacationer flights. That modified final yr when a SpaceX spacecraft efficiently delivered its first astronauts to the ISS.

Nasa started buying flights from SpaceX, stripping Russia of its monopoly and costing its cash-strapped area company hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in income.

The price of tickets to area for vacationers has not been disclosed however Space Adventures has indicated they’re within the vary of $50m-60m.

Roscosmos plans to proceed rising its area tourism enterprise, already commissioning two Soyuz rockets for such journeys.

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