VIENNA, Va. (Space Adventures PR) — Today, Space Adventures, Ltd., the only company that provides human space missions to the world marketplace, announced that Satoshi Takamatsu will begin training as an International Space Station (ISS) crew member candidate for a flight on a Soyuz TMA spacecraft. After successful completion of the program, Takamatsu will be certified as a ‘fully-trained spaceflight participant cosmonaut’ and will be the first Japanese private astronaut qualified to visit the ISS.
Space Adventures became world renowned in 2001 with the launch of client Dennis Tito, the world’s first privately-funded spaceflight participant. Since then, the company has launched seven other missions to the ISS. Space Adventures’ clients have traveled over 36 million miles in space.
“Through his spaceflight training, Satoshi will experience first-hand how our clients prepare to fly to space on the Soyuz spacecraft and for life on board the International Space Station. And he will become a member of an official space mission crew, a distinction that less than 1,000 people have ever had,” said Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures.
Takamatsu has completed and passed all of the required medical & physical evaluations and has been approved by the Joint Commission of the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation to begin training.
“I am delighted to be able to take advantage of this opportunity to train as a cosmonaut. I am excited to prepare myself alongside professionals and to get their unique insight as to what it takes to train for a flight to space. I started dreaming of launching to space when I was 6 years-old when I watched the Apollo 11 lunar landing on TV. So this really is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream,” said Satoshi Takamatsu.
“Satoshi is a successful Japanese advertising executive and life-long entrepreneur. He also has a long-held passion for space & space exploration and this is reflected in some of his professional work, most notably as the first director of a TV commercial shot in space. Satoshi is a creative spirit; I very much look forward to hearing his interpretation of this incredible journey that he’s about to embark on,” continued Shelley.
About Satoshi Takamatsu
Takamatsu began his career at Dentsu, Inc., the largest advertising agency in Japan. In 2005, he started his own firm, GROUND, and serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Officer. Takamatsu is a pioneer in non-conventional advertising campaigns and has received many accolades including awards from Cannes Lions, Grand Clio, Grand Prix, LIA and NYADC. He is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SPACE FILMS and SPACE TRAVEL. Space Films is a production company that provides end-to-end assistance for all commercial space film projects, with assistance from the Russian, U.S. and Japanese space agencies. Space Travel is the first Japanese space travel agency.
About Space Adventures
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers, is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metro area, with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the Moon, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecraft. The company’s orbital spaceflight clients include Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari, Charles Simonyi, Richard Garriott and Guy Laliberté.
Editor’s Note: Although the press release doesn’t say so, it appears that Takamatsu will be the backup to Sarah Brightman, who is scheduled to fly to the space station later this year providing she completes training and passes all the medical tests. It’s a bit odd the statement doesn’t mention Brightman or clarify Takamatsu’s exact status.