A Japanese billionaire, his producer, and a Russian cosmonaut have left the International Space Station (ISS) and returned to Earth, concluding the first paid space tourist visit to the ISS in more than a decade.
Fashion mogul Yusaku Maezawa, his producer Yozo Hirano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin boarded the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which detached from the station at 11:50 p.m. GMT on Sunday.
They were due to land in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 9:13 a.m. Monday, about 150 kilometers southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan.
Yusaku Maezawa, 46, and his producer, 36, were the first paying tourists to visit the space station since 2009.
Addressing theAssociated Press Last week in a live interview from the orbiting space station, Yusaku Maezawa said
that once you are in space you realize how worth it to have this amazing experience.
A journey of
nearly 80 million
Asked about reports he paid over $ 80million for a 12-day assignment, he said he could not disclose the contract amount but admitted he paid
nearly this amount.
In October, Russian actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Shipenko spent 12 days on the station making the world’s first film in orbit, a project sponsored by Russian space company Roscosmos to help restore the nation’s image.
Yusaku Maezawa made his fortune in fashion retail, launching Japan’s largest online fashion mall, Zozotown. Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at $ 1.9 billion.