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    A Japanese billionaire and his producer launched to space on Wednesday and reached the International Space Station many hours later.  The trip acts as a prelude to a more ambitious trip around the moon with SpaceX planned in 2023. Billionaire Yusaka Maezawa is a 46-year-old fashion magnate and art collector who has been training at a space centre outside Moscow in recent months. 

    He became the first space tourist to travel to the ISS in more than a decade.  Maezawa traveled aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, which was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. He was accompanied by his assistant Yozo Hirano, who will be documenting the journey, as well as Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin. 

    12- days before the trip, Maezawa said from Baikonur “I’m excited. I feel like an elementary school student about to go on an outing,… I didn’t think I would be able to go to space. I used to like the starry sky and heavenly bodies. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity and to finally fulfill my dream.”

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