Billionaire Seeks Girlfriend to Fly to the Moon With Him


Valentina Tereshkova.

That’s the name of the woman Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa should be giving one of his coveted SpaceX Starship spots to when he flies to the moon on a private spaceflight scheduled for 2023. She’s the first woman to have flown in space, orbiting the Earth 48 times on a solo mission in 1963. But after the US won the ‘space race’ in 1969, Soviet lunar programs came to an end and the first group of female cosmonauts—which Tereshkova belonged to—completely dissolved. She never got to visit space again, despite her life-long dream to do so. In 2013, at 76-years-old, she said she would happily join Mars One on their one-way mission into space to realise her dream.

Valentina Tereshkova in 1963.

Alas, instead, Yusaku Maezawa wants a woman who wins a dating contest to accompany him on the historical journey to the moon—tweeting, “[WANTED!!!] Why not be the ‘first woman’ to travel to the moon? #MZ_looking_for_love” a few days ago. Alongside this abomination of an idea disguised as a legitimate question, Maezawa also posted a poorly photoshopped image of him gazing up at Earth’s natural satellite and a link to the most depressing website I’ve ever seen.

The website is essentially a contest page, introducing Maezawa’s ‘serious matchmaking documentary’ called Full Moon Lovers and calling for single women aged 20 and older to apply to become his girlfriend and accompany him on his lunar tourism mission, the #dearMoon project. Last year, 44-year-old Maezawa—who is the founder of Japanese online retailer Zozotown and a keen art collector—first announced that he and ‘six to eight artists’ would be the first civilian passengers on SpaceX’s starship spacecraft. But painters be damned if he can find a cute 20-something who is ‘always positive’ and ‘someone who wishes for world peace’, according to the application conditions.

Once you click on the official application form (what? It’s for research) you’re greeted with some basic questions—name, age, height, birthplace, phone number, etc.) before being asked to list your hobbies, special skills, selling points and your impressions of Yusaku Maezawa. That’s about the time when it hits you—this just might be the greatest troll of all time. We are being punk’d. Instead of buying another piece of art, Maezawa is finally making one. A day before he announced Full Moon Lovers, he also told his Twitter followers he would be giving away up to 1 billion yen, stating ‘This social experiment will study the effects of UBI [Universal Basic Income]. Will you be happier if you were given 1M yen?’

So, my prediction is this: a bunch of attractive young women will jump at the chance to fly to the moon. Cameras will document the matchmaking process, turning the whole circus into an ironic space-themed dating show. The film will be edited, scored and exhibited at the Tate as a ground-breaking piece of video art offering scathing social commentary on society’s endless quest for money and status. Meanwhile, Maezawa will secretly spend the rest of his life working through the enormous database of single women he managed to amass in the space of less than a week.

OR, he’s actually being serious, in which case someone better get Valentina Tereshkova on the line so she can straighten this whole thing out. Seeing as she’s a member of the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia now and pretty good mates with Putin, something tells me she wouldn’t have any trouble doing so.

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