There’s no doubt about it. Space tourism is the future. Will we ever live in space? That remains to be seen. Visionaries like Musk and Bezos say yes. What is crystal clear is that the tourism business is just getting started. That’s why news like this is becoming commonplace: the return of the Soyuz with space tourists.
This is the Russian Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft. It has two unusual participants on its journey. Who are they? Two Japanese tourists on board. Very recently, it undocked from the International Space Station (ISS). It is making its way back to Earth. This was reported from the Space Flight Control Center. The site is in the Russian city of Korolyov.
In several hours the spacecraft’s thrusters will be turned on to slow it down. That way, they will take it out of orbit. The landing is scheduled for 03.13 GMT. The chosen site is 148 kilometers southeast of the Kazakh city of Jezkazgan.
Reportedly, the crew’s farewell to the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft and the closing of the hatch were broadcast live. Then the undocking of the ISS took place. Finally, the return of the Soyuz with space tourists began.
No low cost
Astronaut Alexandr Misurkin was with two space tourists. The first, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. His other companion is Yozo Hirano. They spent 12 days in the ISS. From the Baikonur Cosmodrome was the launch on the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket.
Maezawa and Hirano thus entered this fledgling history. They are the first tourists in 12 years to fly to the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. The exact amount Maezawa paid has not been disclosed. But there are some estimates from the space tourism industry. They believe that such a flight costs around $50 million. And you, have you already thought about your next trip?