Confused about Yusaku Maezawa's first "standing on the shoulders of giants" PR photo on the shoulders of Elon Musk in 2018 then launching to the ISS aboard Soyuz, I found that the article lists both a cis-lunar SpaceX mission (planned) and an ISS visit (just launched).

It says:

On May 13, 2021, Maezawa announced he would be joining Space Adventures on a trip to the International Space Station in December 2021, via the Soyuz. He aims to spend 12 days on the orbital machine to experience a long duration spaceflight with his assistant, Yozo Hirano, where try to do top 100 things demanded by public as well as recording highlights in preparation to the SpaceX lunar flight.

Twelve days sounds on the short side for an ISS visit.

Of course during the construction phase I would assume that short visits via Soyuz and the Space Shuttle were the norm.

But since

So I'd like to ask:

Question: What was the shortest stay at the ISS once continuous operations and regular crew rotations began? How does Maezawa (planned) 12 days compare?

Since Maezawa is a tourist astronaut rather than a (for lack of a better term) regular crew astronaut, it may be interesting to have a separate number for each.

Elon Musk hanging out with Yusaku Maezawa

Source is Reddit's Elon Musk hanging out with Yusaku Maezawa


1 Answer 1


Tourists aka "Space Flight Participants":

Probably Dennis Tito; if full flight duration is counted, then a tie with Hazzaa al Mansoori

The source says "6 days aboard ISS" for Tito and "8 days aboard ISS" for al Mansoori; the chart apparently is for the full mission. The difference probably reflects the short rendezvous profiles currently in use. If one goes by that, it would be Tito.

enter image description here


Pedro Duque had a short stay (7 days total) I think (up with 7S on 10/20/03, down with 6S on 10/27/03), he may be the shortest stay-er ever.

Talgat A. Musabayev and Yuri M. Baturin (labeled "Russian politician") stayed the same amount of time as Tito.

Yuri Shargin: 10 days total in 2004

Roberto Vittori: 10 days total in 2005

There were a number of other early Soyuz swapout "taxi" flights with 10 day durations; I have not listed all those crewmembers.

André Kuipers: 11 days total in 2004


  1. https://www.nasa.gov/feature/space-station-20th-space-flight-participants

  2. "ISS As Flown Flight Plan" - personal notes.

  • $\begingroup$ This answer is so complete that I am thinking of narrowing the question to tourists so it matches, and splitting off the "regular crew" part as a new question. Does that sound okay with you? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 9, 2021 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh sure? ¯_(ツ)_/¯ $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2021 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh My only qualm is that the answer I would write for the *nauts would not have a publicly available source as written currently. I could go through and link the wikipedia articles to each of the *nauts, but they were not very detailed in some cases. $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2021 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ I see, so maybe it's not worthwhile. If there was some notable case, like an unscheduled or emergency return for an appendectomy or root canal or something like that it would make for a great answer (of course at the expense of the astronaut). But if it's just sorting through a big list for a stint that was 4.5 months instead of 5 or 6, then maybe no point. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 10, 2021 at 1:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I was surprised by the brevity of the Duque visit. But then, I was surprised to see him, Pontes, and Vittori on the list as Soyuz passengers; we trained them all to be shuttle Mission Specialists in the 90s. Duque and Vittori did fly on the shuttle; Pontes never did, IIRC due to some kind of budget or programmatic problems between NASA and the Brazilian space agency. I'm glad he got there, even if it was on a Soyuz. $\endgroup$ Dec 10, 2021 at 1:56

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