Japanese space tourist training for spot on ISS

Kyodo

A Japanese entrepreneur plans to train as a cosmonaut in Russia for a possible mission to the International Space Station.

Space tourist Satoshi Takamatsu will fly in the event that another tourist cannot make it: British singer Sarah Brightman.

Takamatsu, 51, is president of Space Travel, a Japanese startup that aims to offer space tourism services.

Space Adventures Ltd., a Virginia-based space tourism operator, announced Wednesday that he is now its client. Space Adventures said Brightman is scheduled to travel to the space station later this year.

“We have worked with Mr. Takamatsu over the last decade and as we continue our efforts to expand private spaceflight opportunities, we look forward to work closely with him and his newly formed Space Travel firm in providing these opportunities to the people of Japan,” Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures, said in a statement.

Takamatsu earlier worked for Dentsu Inc., Japan’s biggest advertising agency, where he devised advertising for beverages and noodles featuring the International Space Station.

Takamatsu, who has already cleared the Russian Federal Space Agency’s medical tests and preliminary training program, will start training later this month, mainly at Star City, a town north of Moscow which serves Russia’s space industry. He will also receive training at NASA.

Takamatsu plans to describe his training for people following his journey online, the company said.