A "serious matchmaking documentary" wants to help SpaceX's first private passenger find love -- and a partner for his 2023 voyage to the moon.
Yusaku Maezawa, the Japanese billionaire set to become the first private passenger on a SpaceX Starship, is seeking a partner to "go to the moon with him." The 44-year-old Japanese drummer-turned-entrepreneur, who founded clothing site Zozotown, has begun an unusual quest to find a female partner to take to the moon -- and he got over 27,000 applicants.
In partnership with Elon Musk's SpaceX, Maezawa announced in 2018 he would be going to the moon. As part of his mission, he bought up six to eight seats on the company's next-generation Starship and told reporters he would be asking six to eight artists to head to lunar orbit with him. The project, known as #dearMoon, is scheduled to launch in 2023.
Perhaps one of those seats will be filled by his new partner.
The campaign website details a "serious matchmaking documentary" known as Full Moon Lovers, which will air on Japanese streaming service AbemaTV, and the application process (or casting call?) is already open. It appears the project is driven by AbemaTV.
"As feelings of loneliness and emptiness slowly begin to surge upon me, there's one thing that I think about: Continuing to love one woman," wrote Maezawa, in a statement on the site. "When I got the offer to go on this program, I was first taken over by emotions of embarrassment and pride, and I thought about refusing the offer."
The conditions, according to the website, suggest Maezawa is looking for "women aged 20 or over" with a "bright personality" who are "interested in going into space." Additionally, applicants should "be someone who wishes for world peace."
On Friday, a spokesperson said the total number of applications hit 27,722.
"This number has exceeded our expectations, but we're grateful to hear from many ladies all over Japan and outside Japan," they wrote in a statement emailed to CNET.
Reactions to the announcement have been rather mixed.
How exactly this will all tie in with Maezawa's #dearMoon project isn't entirely clear and SpaceX didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The #dearMoon project itself has a rather ambitious goal of delivering artists -- and Maezawa -- to orbit in 2023. While Starship prototypes saw some success in test flights last year, there's still a long way to go before it reaches any sort of passenger-carrying capability.
NASA's Artemis mission, which plans to send the first woman to the moon, is scheduled to land on the lunar surface in 2024.
Will Maezawa be over the moon, or is the project pure lunacy? It doesn't seem like you'll have to wait long to find out, as dates with Maezawa take place in February and March, before a rather quick final decision is made in March. I'm sure we'll be able to tune in to Full Moon Lovers not long after that to find out just how it all went down.