ISS space tourist captures breathtaking time lapse of an orbit around Earth

Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa plans to fly around the moon with SpaceX, but right now he's visiting the space station.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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Yusaku Maezawa shows off a custom hoodie he's wearing on board the ISS during his 12-day stay in orbit.

Yusaku Maezawa

Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa is so obsessed with space, he put down money to fly around the moon on a future SpaceX Starship mission. But he didn't want to wait to get to space, so he caught a ride on a Russian Soyuz mission and is now a space tourist on the International Space Station. The views are astounding.

Over the weekend, Maezawa tweeted a time-lapse video of Earth as seen from the ISS window. "This is exactly an entire orbit around Earth. Breathtaking," he wrote

The video shows some of the station's solar panels moving as the Earth rotates in a scenic expanse of blue oceans and white clouds below. The ISS moves at such a brisk pace in orbit that astronauts experience 16 sunrises and sunsets each day.

Maezawa, who has a production assistant along for the mission, has been sharing details of his life aboard the ISS on his YouTube channel and on social media. So if you want to know what it's like to use the bathroom in space, he's got you covered.

The wealthy space enthusiast is part of a new era of tourism reaching to the edge of space and all the way into orbit. Maezawa's SpaceX "dearMoon" mission will aim to go far away from Earth in 2023, but SpaceX is still developing the spacecraft to take him (and a group of artists) there. 

In the meantime, Maezawa is getting to exercise his astronaut skills on the ISS, and he's showing off some strong photography skills. Perhaps we can look forward to a future time lapse of his trip around the moon.