Image Source: SpaceX
Japanese entrepreneur, Yusaku Maezawa, is funding SpaceX's Starship development to become the first private passenger to go on a voyage around the moon. He 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.
SpaceX is actively working on the development of the first prototypes of Starship at their facility located in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville, Texas. They are also building launch pad accommodations for the craft at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida where Starship will liftoff from. The space tour would last approximately one week. Starship will not land on the lunar surface, instead the craft will fly on a circumlunar trajectory (around the moon) travelling 238,900 miles away from Earth. The trip is planned for the year 2023.
Meanwhile, Maezawa is on a romantic quest to find a 'life partner' to take to the moon with him. He announced about week ago, he is searching for the first woman in history to go on a journey around the Moon and shared a link to an application where it says he is looking for "women aged 20 or over" with a "bright personality" who are "interested in going into space and able to participate in the preparation for it." Additionally, applicants should "be someone who wishes for world peace." His quest for finding love will be aired for the entire world see in a new "serious matchmaking documentary" reality show called "Full Moon Lovers" that will be about Maezawa finding love and the Moon voyage itself. This show will be shown on streaming service AbemaTV.
In the show's application website he writes:
"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?"
Image Source: AbemaTV
As if the first fart can be a 'make it or break it' moment in a relationship (haha). Could be that the fart question was included because in space if you fart the gas will not go anywhere it will just stay in the same place because there is no airflow and farts in space can be flammable... "Intestinal bacteria form two gases, hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4), that could constitute a fire hazard in a closed chamber." According to Discover Magazine, in a research conducted in the 1960s they studied the different levels of fart flammability in space between different human diets.
"If you're an astronaut, every fart is a ticking time bomb."
Discover Magazine wrote, "The gases in farts are flammable, which can quickly become a problem in a tiny pressurized capsule in the middle of space where your fart gases have no where to go. Scientists discovered that the space diet actually produced more gas than the control diet, and noted that 'volumes would be larger at reduced spacecraft and suit pressures.' This explains why astronaut food doesn’t include freeze-dried beans."
This entire concept of finding a life partner to take to the moon aboard SpaceX's Starship rocket and asking a question about farts seems like an idea of a lunatic! But we all love a good romance story, the moon voyage will sure be an interesting journey to watch!
The application period to be a potential romantic partner for Maezawa closed on January 17. An AbemaTV spokesperson shared the total number of women who applied were 27,722.
"This number has exceeded our expectations, but we're grateful to hear from many ladies all over Japan and outside Japan."
The selection process officially begins today, January 25 to 26. Then by mid-February they will initiate serious matchmaking dates with Maezawa followed by special dates with the women he selected. By the end of March, he will make the final decision on who will be his romantic partner to join him on the lunar voyage.
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About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.