What would you want to do on a 12-day trip into outer space? A Japanese billionaire who is set to fly to the International Space Station wants your ideas.
In fact, he wants 100 of them.
Yusaku Maezawa, who will soon begin training for his planned flight on Russia's Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft in December, has turned to the public to suggest what activities he should try to do while aboard the space station.
"I want this experience to be for everyone, not just me, and so I came up with this plan. What should I do in space? What should I bring to space?" Maezawa wrote on his website for the mission. "I need your ideas!"
Photos: The first space tourists
Those ideas can be silly or serious, the soon-to-be-spaceflight participant (or "space tourist") said. He plans to select 100 of them to try out while being filmed for his YouTube channel while in orbit.
"Do you move forward when you fart in space? What happens when you play Pokemon GO in space? Call someone on Earth from space!" Maezawa offered as examples.
Although all types of ideas are welcome, Maezawa is constrained by the type of items he can take with him. He will have limited storage space aboard the Soyuz and flying electronics or items with hazardous materials can be an issue.
All submissions requiring equipment to accomplish will be reviewed by Space Adventures, the U.S. space tourism company organizing Maezawa's flight, and Roscosmos, Russia's state space corporation, which is operating the mission.
Those whose ideas are chosen will be awarded with a personalized mission patch depicting the Soyuz spacecraft set against a white peace symbol overlaying Earth.
"You will receive a mission patch with your name embroidered on it, identical to what I'll be wearing!" Maezawa wrote.
Maezawa is also seeking ideas from companies or academic institutions which desire to partner with him to fly experiments or test out new products in space.
Submissions for public ideas and private proposals are now open on Maezawa's "Off to Space for YouTube" mission website through May 30. The winners will be announced in June.
Maezawa is scheduled to launch on Soyuz MS-20 from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on Dec. 8, lifting off with his production assistant Yozo Hirano and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin. The mission will serve as an introduction to spaceflight for Maezawa, who has also booked a flight around the moon on a SpaceX Starship spacecraft.
"I thought that if I want to guide my fellow 'dearMoon' crew members during our lunar trip scheduled for 2023, why not fly to space and experience it first?" he said.
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Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for Space.com and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.