A future SpaceX mission to the moon is quickly being overtaken by a Japanese billionaire who's participating in a documentary series to help him find a girlfriend to take the trip with.

Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire who bought the seats on SpaceX's first mission to the moon, says he's now seeking "a female partner" to join him on his trip. And, of course, the entire process of finding her will be documented in a new documentary series called Full Moon Lovers that will air on the Japanese streaming service AbemaTV.

According to the website for Full Moon Lovers, the 44-year-old Maezawa is seeking a woman who's 20 years of age or older and single. She should have a "bright personality" and be "always positive," according to the website. The ideal candidate will also be "interested in going into space and able to participate in the preparation for it," should "want to enjoy life to the fullest," and ultimately "be someone who wishes for world peace."

In a tweet that has caught the ire of some Twitter users, Maezawa said that the person he chooses will be "the first woman to travel to the moon."

Writer and art historian Shannon Stirone criticized the tweet and the contest, saying that she wants "the first woman to go to the moon not because she's a contestant on some elaborately expensive dating show but because she deserves to experience what all the men have experienced. Because she is a qualified engineer or scientist or simply more than a sexual prospect."

Emily Calandrelli, a host and executive producer for Xploration Outer Space, said that when she speaks to her child about the "first woman to travel to the moon," she doesn't want to say that the person "won a dating contest."

Calandrelli tweeted, "Not against the concept in general, but firsts are special. History remembers them. I need this one to be done right."

Maezawa was a drummer who founded the clothing site Zozotown, where he made his fortune. In 2018, he decided he wanted to go to the moon and bought up to eight seats on the SpaceX Starship to carry him into orbit around the moon. If all goes well with Starship, he'll be taking the flight in 2023. He's previously said he wants to invite artists with him on the voyage.

Now, though, he's talking about a female partner. And in a letter on the Full Moon Lovers website, he's explaining his rationale:

"I started to think that this was a good chance to seriously face up to the idea of 'continuing to love one woman,' which I'd only really had a hazy image about," he wrote. "I made my decision and finally decided to go on the program. I want to find a 'life partner.' With that future partner of mine, I want to shout our love and world peace from outer space."

It seemingly won't take long for Maezawa to find that "life partner." Women can apply for the show through January 17, and cast selections will be made by January 26. "Matchmaking dates" will begin in mid-February, and "special dates" on which contestants can get to know Maezawa start in mid-March. By the end of March, Maezawa will decide on his partner and the woman with which he'll be going to the moon.

For its part, SpaceX hasn't commented on the show. But Elon Musk retweeted Maezawa's post about it over the weekend.

Published on: Jan 13, 2020
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