Featured Image Source: Yusaku Maezawa and SpaceX
In 2018, Japanese entrepreneur, Yusaku Maezawa was announced as the first private passenger SpaceX will take on a voyage around the moon. His payment for the space tour is funding the development of SpaceX's next generation spacecraft -Starship. The mission planned for 2023 would be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972. SpaceX is actively working on the development of the first prototypes of Starship at their facility located in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville, Texas. Maezawa is the founder of Japan’s largest online clothing retailer named Zozotown, and sold a 30% stake in his company to Softbank Group Corp. for $2.7 billion in order to pay for the spaceship's development and train like an astronaut ahead of the flight.
Maezawa recently split up from actress girlfriend Ayame Goriki. Early this month, he announced desire to take the first woman to the moon but he did not just want any woman -his quest was to find a romantic "life partner" to join him on his moon adventure to shout their love and world peace from space. He was accepting applications of single women over 20 from all over the world who are interested in getting to know him on a "serious match-making" reality TV show that would be called "Full Moon Lovers" airing on AbemaTV. The application period to apply to be Maezawa's potential girlfriend and fly aboard SpaceX's Starship closed on January 17. He was scheduled to begin selecting women to get to know during dates by January 25.
In the show's application website he wrote:
"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. [...] 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."
The application process to be his potential life partner involved filling in a Google form with personal details, personality traits submitting a photograph, and sharing the first impression on Maezawa. There is also a "love diagnostic test" so potential romantic partners can see whether they could be compatible with him. The test had multiple-choice questions like "If you rode in a private jet where would you go," "What is your favorite dish," and "What do you say if Maezawa farts in front of you?" (as if a fart can really be a deal-breaker in a relationship).
To think that 27,722 women, with earnest intentions and courage, had used their precious time to apply makes me feel extremely remorseful to conclude and inform everyone with this selfish decision of mine.— Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) 前澤友作 (@yousuck2020) January 30, 2020
The TV show received a total of 27,722 applicants, but yesterday (January 29) Maezawa cancelled his search for a girlfriend to invite on a romantic moon voyage. He did not go into details of why he decided to call it off but did say he had mixed feelings about the entire process.
Maezawa's Full Statement:
"Due to personal reasons, I have informed AbemaTV yesterday with my decision to no longer participate in the matchmaking documentary. Despite my genuine and honest determination toward the show, there was a part of me that still had mixed feelings about my participation. To think that 27,722 women, with earnest intentions and courage, had used their precious time to apply makes me feel extremely remorseful to conclude and inform everyone with this selfish decision of mine. I understand that I have disappointed many people — the applicants and all the staff from AbemaTV who were involved in the production — and I apologize to everyone for my unfavorable actions.
I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart."
Even though the romantic moon voyage is cancelled, Maezawa is still funding SpaceX Starship's development and will still take a trip around the moon in a couple of years. He had previously said he desired to invite eight artists to turn the space journey into an art project named "Dear Moon." Its yet to be confirmed if the art project will take fruition, his moon voyage will be an exciting adventure either way.