|Mission type||Crewed mission to ISS, Space tourism|
|Mission duration||11 days, 19 hours and 34 minutes (achieved)|
|Spacecraft||Soyuz MS No.752 Altair|
|Spacecraft type||Soyuz MS|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||8 December 2021, 07:38:15 UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur Cosmodrome, Site 31|
|Contractor||Progress Rocket Space Centre|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||20 December 2021, 03:13 UTC|
|Landing site||Kazakh Steppe,[a] Kazakhstan|
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit|
|Regime||Low Earth orbit|
|Docking with ISS|
|Docking port||Poisk zenith|
|Docking date||8 December 2021, 13:40:44 UTC|
|Undocking date||19 December 2021, 23:50:30 UTC|
|Time docked||11 days, 10 hours and 9 minutes|
Maezawa, Misurkin and Hirano
Soyuz MS-20 was a Russian Soyuz spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS) on 8–20 December 2021. Unlike previous Soyuz flights to the ISS, Soyuz MS-20 did not deliver any crew members for an ISS Expedition or serve as a lifeboat for any crew members on board the station. Instead, it was commanded by a single professional cosmonaut and carried two space tourists represented by company Space Adventures, which had executed eight space tourism missions to the ISS in 2001–9. The flight to reach the ISS took six hours.
Alexander Misurkin, a veteran of two long duration missions to the ISS, commanded the Soyuz, modified to allow it to be flown by a sole cosmonaut.
|Commander|| Alexander Misurkin, Roscosmos|
Third and last spaceflight
|Spaceflight participant 1|| Yusaku Maezawa, Space Adventures|
|Spaceflight participant 2|| Yozo Hirano, Space Adventures|
|Commander||Alexander Skvortsov, Roscosmos|
|Spaceflight participant 1||No back-up|
|Spaceflight participant 2||Shun Ogiso, Space Adventures|
For some time, it was speculated that Austrian airline pilot Johanna Maislinger would be one of the tourists, but on 13 May 2021, Space Adventures confirmed that Japanese billionaire, art collector and space enthusiast Yusaku Maezawa had acquired both seats, the other for his production assistant Yozo Hirano. This was the first time two Japanese launched to space together.
In July 2021, Space Adventures Moscow Office changed their previous story and said that Maislinger had never had access to the funds she had claimed, and they had never treated her as a serious candidate.
It was also reported in April 2021 that Japanese entertainer Yumi Matsutoya was to fly on Soyuz MS-20 with Maislinger.
Soyuz MS-20 marks the first tourist flight to the ISS after more than 12 years since Canadian Guy Laliberté onboard Soyuz TMA-16 in September 2009. British singer Sarah Brightman was to fly Soyuz TMA-18M in September 2015, but she cancelled in May 2015.
Soyuz MS-20 was also reported in April 2020 as the first of at least two completely commercial Soyuz flights by Roscosmos, to be followed by Soyuz MS-23 in October 2022 carrying one cosmonaut and two passengers, possibly from United Arab Emirates, to the ISS for six months. However this was changed to a standard Russian-American Expedition 68 launch even during 2021; and after the events of 2022 culminated in December with a micrometeorite puncturing the Soyuz MS-22 cooling system, Soyuz MS-23 was launched on 24 February 2023 empty to replace it.
Soyuz MS-20 also marks a departure from the way space tourism was done in the 2000s. Previous missions took one tourist during either a "taxi" flight, where Soyuz lifeboats on the ISS were swapped, allowing for about a week-long stay, or handover periods between crews, where the tourist would launch with an incoming long-duration crew and land with the outgoing one. Soyuz MS-20 switched to a flight entirely dedicated to (two) space tourists. Soon afterward, American company Axiom Space carried out a similar flight with SpaceX, where an Axiom-hired professional astronaut flew with three paying tourists to the ISS on board Crew Dragon Endeavour, on 8–25 April 2022.