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Billionaire hosts girlfriend contest for 'first woman to the moon' and (shocker) people hate it

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa's ad for his "girlfriend contest" that has sparked a ton of negative feedback.
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa's ad for his "girlfriend contest" that has sparked a ton of negative feedback.
(Image: © Twitter/Yusaku Maezawa)

Will the first woman to travel to the moon be the winner of a billionaire's "girlfriend contest"? We really hope not. 

On Sunday (Jan. 12), Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, founder of the Japanese online retailer Zozotown and an avid fine art collector, tweeted, "[WANTED!!!] Why not be the 'first woman' to travel to the moon? #MZ_looking_for_love," alongside an image of him with the moon with the caption "come to the moon with me?"

In 2018, Maezawa announced that he and six to eight artists would become the first passengers on SpaceX's Starship spacecraft, which would fly around the moon without landing. Now, it seems as though the 44-year-old father of two intends for one of those seats to go to the winner of his contest looking for women age 20 or older to apply to be his girlfriend and the "first woman to the moon."

Related: How SpaceX's 1st Passenger Flight Around the Moon Will Work
Video:
Meet SpaceX BFR's First Paying Customer, Yusaku Maezawa

The backlash

In a turn of events that is shocking to no one, this call for girlfriend applications has received immediate, intense backlash.

A large number of the responses on Maezawa's tweet include expletives (and are therefore not included here). Overall, it seems as though most people have negative feelings about this contest. 

One major criticism of the contest, which many have echoed on Twitter, is that the contest aims to fly the "first woman to the moon." So, instead of one of the many women who have worked tirelessly to become astronauts, or who hope to one day become astronauts, making this historic journey, it would be a woman chosen by a billionaire solely for a romantic relationship. 

So, not only would the woman chosen by Maezawa be a prop in a largely publicized spectacle, but this contest could set an example for younger generations of women that their willingness to engage in a romantic relationship could get them farther than hard work in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field. 

Related: Who Will Be the First Woman on the Moon?

"'Mom, who was the first woman to travel to the moon?' 'Well, she won a dating contest...'" is *not* the answer I would want to give my child. Not against the concept in general, but firsts are special. History remembers them. I need this one to be done right," Emily Calandrelli, an Emmy-nominated science communicator and host of the "Xploration Outer Space" science TV show on Fox, said on Twitter in response to Maezawa's contest. 

Naia Butler-Craig, an aerospace engineer and PhD student at Georgia Tech, added on Twitter, "Just cause I know this will probably get negative traction: No shade to the lady who accepts but my heart will hurt if in history books the first woman to go to the moon is only going to be known as a billionaires girlfriend. Not the message we want to send to future explorers."

The contest

The matchmaking fiasco, which is currently being turned into a documentary called "Full Moon Lovers" to be broadcast on a streaming service, is accepting applications until Jan. 17. 

On the contest website that Maezawa links to in his tweet, he specifies even further what he's looking for in a girlfriend. According to his specifications on the page, applicants must have a "bright personality and always positive," be "interested in going into space and able to participate in the preparation for it," "want to enjoy life to the fullest" and "be someone who wishes for world peace."

SpaceX's progress

The flight plan for the #dearMoon mission, which will use a SpaceX Starship and Super Heavy rocket to launch a group of artists on a mission to fly around the moon. (Image credit: SpaceX/#dearMoon)

In 2018, when Maezawa first started planning his moon journey, the Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicle — which were then collectively known as the BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket — were in the early stages of development. 

In September 2019, SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk unveiled the first completed Starship prototype, the Mk1, and he provided an update on SpaceX's progress toward getting its new reusable spaceship and megarocket off the ground and, ultimately, to the moon. A couple of months later, in November, a prototype of the spacecraft suffered an anomaly during a pressure test. 

SpaceX plans to launch the first test flight of its Starship prototype as early as October, with the first commercial launches beginning in 2021. The first Starship missions will launch satellites into low Earth orbit, but eventually SpaceX aims to use the spacecraft for human missions to the moon, Mars and potentially even other destinations in the solar system. 

Maezawa's mission, named #dearMoon, is currently on track to launch to the moon in 2023. Together with a group of six to eight artists (including, possibly, the winner of this contest), Maezawa will travel in a loop around the moon — without landing on it — in a flight lasting five days and 23 hours. 

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  • Speed
    LMAO! I think this is hilarious! Both the concept and people losing their minds over it.
    Look at the facts people.
    Space X is notorious for setting target dates that they don't make. So I wouldn't worry about this trip actually happening in 2023.
    If by some miracle it does happen, it's a round trip. The "girlfriend" might be the first woman to go TO the moon, but she will not be the first woman ON the moon. That will still be an American astronaut.
    And if the "girlfriend" is the first woman to go to the moon, everyone on the planet will know she was a sideshow, an object, a trophy, not an astronaut in the true sense of the word.
    Reply
  • Hawkstein
    Love it or hate it Yusaku Maezawa is massively important for the advance of private space ventures.
    Reply
  • forestvillee
    His Space Mission, his choice. Private space is going to be like nothing the world has seen before. Elon's Deep Space Tesla was just the beginning, do try not to be offended.
    Reply
  • thom01801
    Admin said:
    Will the first woman to travel to the moon be the winner of a billionaire's "girlfriend contest"? We really hope not.

    Billionaire hosts girlfriend contest for 'first woman to the moon' and (shocker) people hate it : Read more
    Well its his money and he is funding the project, so he should be able to take whomever he wants.
    Reply
  • William Pennat
    Fly me to the moon
    And let me play among the stars
    Let me know what Spring is like
    On Jupiter and Mars....
    Reply
  • Hawkstein
    forestvillee said:
    His Space Mission, his choice. Private space is going to be like nothing the world has seen before. Elon's Deep Space Tesla was just the beginning, do try not to be offended.

    Being offended is what the past decade has been all about so far, let's see what the 20's brings.
    Reply
  • Hawkstein
    thom01801 said:
    Well its his money and he is funding the project, so he should be able to take whomever he wants.

    He seems like a good guy, people should shut their face holes.
    Reply
  • Zymoticus
    The sad comedy in this avalanche of derision - directed at what should be getting enthusiastic kudos for an incredibly positive romantic gesture - lies in what it reveals about the comically-misnamed "feminists" (they're more accurately termed "masculinists,") who are throwing their bitter little spitballs at anyone who dares to pursue happiness: A profound insecurity with their own gender.

    To choose (that's: choose,) to take mortal offense at the prospect of the first woman going to the moon for romance rather than a professional task, is only a statement a.) that these critics' sense of self-worth is so fragile that their concept of womanhood absolutely cannot take the form of anything other than strident activism for the gender-tribe, b.) that romance - and indirectly, individuality and human happiness per se - are somehow valueless, and c.) of an apparent bigotry against heterosexuality that's at least as virulent as bigotry against homosexuality.

    Ironically, it's a lurch back to the mores and attitudes of the Dark Ages. Which - even more ironically - makes these bitter prunes the ultimate conservatives.

    Again, this is one of the most stand-up-and-cheer spectacular romantic gestures I've ever heard of - something that should be applauded. Unfortunately, we live in an age of militant irrationalism and reflexive hatred of anyone who does not subscribe to the toxic group-think tribalism - including gender-tribalism - that has been shoveled into the heads of unsuspecting (and apparently uncritical) American students for the better part of the last two decades.

    I hope Maezawa-san ignores these bitter, unhappy Western haters, follows his romantic dream, and shares that dream with one fortunate lady.
    Reply
  • Zatguyz123
    Zymoticus said:

    I hope Maezawa-san ignores these bitter, unhappy Western haters, follows his romantic dream, and shares that dream with one fortunate lady.
    I dont see how you think it's a 'romantic gesture' when a rich guy asks every girl that wants to 'join him' to enter a contest for one 'lucky' winner. I'm not offended, but it's kinda sleazy the way he is doing it.
    I do agree with people giving it backlash. Let me ask you and anyone who reads this, should the first women to step foot on the moon be a person who entered a contest and got 'lucky' or a person who worked toward it and earned it
    Reply
  • Zatguyz123
    thom01801 said:
    Well its his money and he is funding the project, so he should be able to take whomever he wants.
    If every rich person did what they wanted the world history and the world would be tainted. When it comes to things like being the first(especially in space). It should be treated with respect and the first should be someone who has worked for it.
    Reply