A Japanese tycoon and his producer have launched into space for the first time in more than a decade as self-paying space tourists.
Yusaku Maezawa, a fashion billionaire and producer Yozo Hirano, who hopes to film his voyage, launched to the International Space Station on Wednesday aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft alongside Russian astronaut Alexander Misurkin.
"I wish I could see the Earth from space. "I'd like to have the opportunity to experience weightlessness," Maezawa said Tuesday during a pre-flight news conference.
"And I have a personal expectation: I'm curious about how space will affect me, how I will change as a result of this space flight."
The three launched on Soyuz MS-20 from Kazakhstan's Russia-led Baikonur launch site at 12:38 p.m. (0738 GMT) as scheduled.
Maezawa and Hirano are planning to stay in space for 12 days.
The trip's cost has not been disclosed.