Japanese Business Mogul Maezawa Arrives at ISS on Soyuz

Science Society

Tokyo, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)--A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Japanese business tycoon Yusaku Maezawa and two other people arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday, after successfully blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

It will be the first time for a Japanese non-astronaut to stay at the ISS.

A Soyuz rocket carrying the three-seater spacecraft was launched at 4:38 p.m. Japan time (7:38 a.m. GMT) from the Kazakh space center.

The two on board the spacecraft other than the 46-year-old founder of online fashion mall operator Zozo Inc. <3092> are Yozo Hirano, a 36-year-old executive of a company affiliated with Zozo, and a Russian astronaut serving as the spacecraft's commander.

The Soyuz craft docked with the ISS around 10:40 p.m. the same day. As the hatch opened around 1:10 a.m. on Thursday, the trio entered the ISS, smiling and waving their hands, and shook hands with astronauts staying in the station. In communication with the ground, Maezawa said: "I've arrived, I'm in space."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press