Movie stars, philanthropists and entrepreneurs: ISS does business with its future “tenants”

Movie stars, philanthropists and entrepreneurs: ISS does business with its future "tenants"

In addition to its function as a laboratory, the International Space Station will soon function as a holiday resort and studio for big-budget films. Although it has not welcomed any tourists since 2009, ISS is preparing to accommodate nine passengers in the coming months, being flown through four different aircraft, and its existence will have no scientific meaning. That’s probably the beginning.

On May 13, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced Japanese billionaire Yusaku Mesawa, 45, was arrested by ISS in Soyuz on December 8. Joshodown, the wealthy founder of the online clothing store, will spend 12 days in orbit, accompanied by his assistant Yoso Hirano, a filmmaker and responsible for documenting the adventure.

Relying on the ISS spacecraft is the first step for the online fashion mogul as he is already preparing for a voyage around the moon in 2023, on the Starship rocket designed by SpaceX. An extensive selection process has been underway since March, with more than 500,000 candidates to depart, forming a team with 8 passengers Meizawa.

Tom Cruise is beaten by Yulia Bezild

Prior to that, on October 5, 2021, Roscosmos formed a film crew with the first national television channel, ISS. For months, the space agency has been determining the “medical and creative” criteria for filming actresses in the weightless scenes of the Russian-made “Challenge”. The actress gave her verdict in favor of actress Yulia Percild, 36, on May 13, awarding Caesar the Russian equivalent of the Golden Eagles twice, including once Best Actress. On the other side of the camera, director Klim Shipenko, 37, will be on the trip. This will be his second space film after Saliat 7, which was released in 2017, inspired by the actual events that took place at the former space station of the same name, and also presented the Golden Eagles.

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So Yulia Bezild and Klim Shipenko will shoot the first film made in space, thus winning the soldier of Hollywood productions. Before the “challenge” movie was announced, this premiere was initially due to Tom Cruise. But director Doug Lyman (Mr and Mrs Smith, Memory in the Skin) and Mission Impossible star will not be joining ISS until early 2022, in a Crew Dragon capsule built by SpaceX.

Three first customers for Axis

Only seven non-professional astronauts served on the ISS between 2001 and 2009. Flew to, but space tourism seems to be enjoying a new leased life. According to Xavier Pascoe, director of the Strategic Research Foundation, the rapid growth is due to the gradual departure of NASA from the station. It is reviewing its operations on the lunar program and providing transportation and logistics to private partners ”, one of which is apparently SpaceX. Roscosmos, which overcame its monopoly on manned spaceflight from 2011 to 2020, is seeking to fill vacancies in its Soyuz capsules and is opening up to space tourism.

ISS for unscientific actions. Delivery is arranged by an agency specializing in space travel with the first fully private aircraft to the station in early 2022. Founded in 2016, the first customers of this American company are already known. Three entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs and philanthropists will take part in this work Axium1, Ten days aboard the ISS: American Larry Connor (71), Canadian Mark Fathi (51), and Israeli Eaton Stebe (63).

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Unlike the tourists of the 2000s who were content to come with regular trips, Xavier Pascoe noted that commercial aircraft operated by Axis were “all considered services on the invoice, with NASA almost reducing its infrastructure with its ISS modules.” “The flight crew will not develop any active expert.”

The era of joining the ISS ship

To oversee the crew, Axis provides services to former NASA astronauts. This first flight will be supported by Michael Lopez-Alegria, with 248 days in space and his arrival with 10 additional vehicle trips. Becky Whitson, the woman who spent the most time in space (665 days in 3 passengers) and Thomas Baskett’s former collaborator on the ISS can also return to space during an axiomatic mission. Might be on a second flight with Tom Cruise?

Axis also plans to move some of the modules dedicated to tourism by 2024, as commercial flights for ISS have become commonplace. “This will lead to a new era and open the door to private astronauts. Xavier Pasco agrees, “But above all the resort is a public infrastructure and an international collaboration project. The personal functioning of the ISS will be non-priority and will work with the crew without interfering with their scientific work.”

If the adventure inspires you, it’s no less: unlike professional astronauts, individuals going to the ISS will have to pay for their space, and a ticket to the stars would cost more than $ 50 million today. If you do not successfully complete the selection of Yusaku Mesawa’s circular aircraft, these experiences at zero gravity will not reach all visitors.

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Cory Weinberg

About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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