Three people have just arrived at the International Space Station, and two of them are space tourists.

The Russian spacecraft Soyuz, carrying Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, video producer Yozo Hirano and cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, made contact with the orbiting laboratory on Wednesday (December 8) at 13:40 GMT (16:40 Moscow time). The trio of cosmonauts left Earth just a few hours ago on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The mission of Maezawa, Hirano and Misurkin was organized by Space Adventures from Virginia, USA, which previously helped send seven paying customers on eight trips to the space station – one of the tourists flew twice. But that was a long time ago – the last of these Space Adventures flights was in 2009.

Maezawa, CEO of Start Today and founder of online clothing store ZOZO, bought seats for himself and Hirano, who will document the 12-day mission. Travel materials will appear on the billionaire’s YouTube channel. Tourists will take part in some studies of the health and performance of astronauts in microgravity. Senior Cosmonaut Misurkin, Mission Commander, will oversee tourists to the ISS. According to unofficial information, the expedition cost the billionaire about $ 88 million.

The trio are scheduled to return to Earth on Sunday, December 19th. After landing, Maezawa will prepare for the next space flight. The billionaire has booked a trip around the world on the huge SpaceX Starship spacecraft, which is tentatively scheduled to start in 2023.