The Future

Would you go to the moon?

The Future

If you could go to the moon for free, would you do it

The Outline investigates.

Earlier this week, the billionaire Japanese businessman Yusaku Maezawa won the long-running “saddest rich person” contest by announcing that he was looking for a girlfriend go to to the moon with him. To find his Moon Love, Maezawa will be holding a contest that will be filmed as part of a “serious matchmaking documentary”. (DON’T laugh; everyone is deserving of love.) For more details, please refer to this screenshot from the documentary’s website:

While I think that basically all of us out there “want to enjoy life to the fullest” and hope “for world peace,” how many people other than Maezawa actually want to go to the moon?

The answer is: Not as many as you might think (unless you thought not many people actually want to go to the moon). Only 43 percent of those surveyed in a recent poll conducted by the British firm YouGov said they were interested in personally going to the moon. Forty-eight percent said they would not go to the moon. As to why people didn’t want to go to the moon, 23 percent said that they just weren’t interested, while roughly the same amount of people indicated they thought there was “not enough to see or do on the moon” or that they’d rather go somewhere on Earth. Nine percent of the non-mooners “reject[ed the] premise that safe return could be guaranteed.”

To which I say, what the hell is wrong with those people? Assuming that the moon actually exists, I would go to it so hard.

Clearly, the people who participated in YouGov’s moon poll do not want to bring joy into their lives. So, I conducted my own poll about the moon in which I simply asked a bunch of people if they wanted to go to the moon (plus a few other things). Their answers have been lightly edited for clarity and punctuation.

TRENT? (Pro Wrestler with All Elite Wrestling)

Would you go to the moon?

How long does the travel take? I don’t really wanna go if it’s like eight weeks of travel on a little moon ship. But I’d probably do it anyway. Just once though. Bounce around and talk about how dumb the Earth looks from here.

If you had to go to the moon, who would you want to go with? You can pick one person or animal.

I dunno, my mom? My dog would hate it in space so for sure not him. He can’t even ride in a car without spitting everywhere.

Is the moon “worth it?”

Who am I to judge, y’know? I’m a man of earth only so far. Everyone who goes to the moon is for sure gonna talk about how worth it it was though. Damn. The trip home after seeing the moon is gonna be so long and sad.

Chuck Taylor (Pro Wrestler with All Elite Wrestling, tag team partner of TRENT?)

Would you go to the moon?

Yeah I’d go to the moon. I always wrote “astronaut” on all the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” things. I’d take my dog with me.

Brandy Jensen (Power Editor, The Outline)

Would you go to the moon?

Yes, because I would like to apprehend the earth from a vast distance and feel very small.

What would be the sickest thing about being on the moon?

No Twitter.

What about the least sick thing?

Space is existentially horrifying.

If part of your reason to go to the moon is to look at the earth and “feel small,” it seems like you don’t actually mind the existential horror of space?

See, to stand on the moon and look at the earth would be very moving and beautiful, but I think to turn around and stare into space could drive you mad.

So would you like, wear Moon Blinders or something?

I would risk madness.

Left at London (Musician, currently touring the West Coast)

Would you go to the moon?

Wouldn’t it take hella long? I’d get cabin fever, so probably not.

If you had to go to the moon, who would you take with you?

My roommates Alexa and Val. I love them.

Is the moon “worth it?”

The moon is hella worth it. Lesbian rights. The moon is a lesbian.

Willy Staley (Story Editor, New York Times Magazine)

Would you go to the moon?

Yes. You would have the opportunity to experience weightlessness on the way there (tight) and the apparently life-changing experience of seeing the earth from a great distance (very tight). You could probably post one of those on Instagram with the caption, “Um we live here now?”

What would be the scariest thing about going there?

I’d be worried about my spacesuit leaking and my blood boiling or whatever supposedly happens to you when you die in space. Taking a flight is safe, but it doesn’t mean I don't contemplate the possibility that I'll die every time I do that. I figure this would be heightened on the moon, which is covered in craters from the impact of flying space rocks. A little one of those hits your spacesuit? Buddy, you’re fucked.

What would be the worst part of a trip to the moon?

No good street food scene. (Or local IPAs to try.)

It’s probably like the Grand Canyon, right? It would be totally overwhelming to the senses, but… not much to do, and nowhere to go without great effort. Would be nice to drive that Moon Rover around and hit golf balls, I guess.

Rosa Lyster (Freelance Writer)

Would you go to the moon, assuming that the trip would be as safe as taking an airplane?

I would definitely go to the moon, even though I have turned into a nervous flyer and am not remotely reassured by the phrase “as safe as taking an airplane.”

What would be the coolest things about being on the moon?

Sense of grandeur, sense of personal insignificance, it would be a good story after, maybe it would give me a different and less hysterically pessimistic perspective on climate change and that, and it would be very beautiful.

What about the least cool thing?

I’d like to think it would be fine, but the least cool thing about being on the moon would be my nagging sense that I was in some way failing to rise to the occasion. I feel like going to the moon is a real test of character: if you are able to absorb the full weight and meaning of being on the moon as it is happening, it means you are a good and powerful person. If on the other hand you feel bored for two seconds, or even slightly underwhelmed, or wish you were somewhere else, it means there is no hope for you. It would be terrible to arrive on the moon and be presented with this kind of self-knowledge.

If you could bring one person (or animal) to the moon with you, as well as one item, who and what would you take?

An incredibly capable and strong astronaut, and whatever it is the astronaut needs to ensure we get safely off the moon.

Leah Finnegan (Executive Editor, The Outline)

Would you go to the moon?

Yes. I have always wanted to go to the moon.

What would you do there once you arrived?

I would probably do a lot of flips and air punches. I would also need someone to take a photo of me on the moon.

Would you be worried about safety at all?

No. I believe that the moon is safe.

How long would you want to stay there? Please assume that we have the technology to make Moon Camping possible.

I would want to be on the moon no more than 48 hours, because I would get bored.

Would you bring your dog?

Yes, and I would demand that public funds be used to make her a little spacesuit.

Mara Wilson (Writer and Actor)

Would you go to the moon?

Yes, I would go to the moon. I would like to see the stars from a different angle, and look a completely different kind of landscape. And while I don’t like the idea of the moon being an “exclusive” thing, I do like the idea of getting to go somewhere that people have dreamed about going to for so long.

Who would you pick to accompany you?

I might want to go with my sister, because she would definitely be into the whole “spiritual” part of the moon and would really appreciate that aspect of it. But also, if we got on each other‘s nerves there isn’t really any way that we could escape from each other for a few hours without it being really dangerous, so maybe I would just want to bring one of my cats (Milo, Theo, and Basil) instead. Milo would barely notice he was there, Theo would just want to stay close to his mom and cuddle the whole time, Basil would probably want to explore and will probably have the most fun, but he’s really [my sister] Anna’s cat.

I might also want to go with one of my brothers, because he studied earth and planetary sciences. He could explain the rock formations to me. It would kind of be like when we went to Napa and he explained to me a bunch of things about how the grapes were grown for wine. Except with less drinking, and on the moon.

Is the moon “worth it?”

I think the moon is worth it, though I guess I can see why other people might think that it’s not. I’m not a very romantic person, and I can see people just being like, “Look it’s just a rock, there’s no atmosphere, it’s basically just a desert.” But I do have that little bit of, like, Carl Sagan-esque wonder that turns me into a romantic about the cosmos.

My Dad (Retired, North Carolina)

Dad, would you go to the moon?

My kneejerk reaction is “No,” for several reasons. I’ve got too much going on at home, I wouldn’t be able to bring my dog, and I think I’d feel like Elton John in “Rocket Man” (cold, lonely, and missing my wife). I’d much rather go to Hawaii.

Darcie Wilder (Contributing Writer, The Outline)

Would you go to the moon?

I have no business going to the moon. I think the moon is cool, but I’m confused why anyone would want to leave the planet. I mean, I guess I understand the desire for oblivion, but I think space travel and investigation is a waste. Plus that NASA intern discovered a new planet and fuck that guy. The only exception I would make for moon travel is to retrieve the flag and bags of garbage that the astronauts left there.

What would be the worst thing about going to the moon

Clearly the commute and the possible claustrophobia.

What about the best?

Probably being able to use, “I had to be on the moon” as an excuse/brag, like referencing, “I begged them not to send me! But alas, I had to be on the moon.” Also the gravity thing.

Speak (Rapper, Mexico City)

Would you go to the moon?

Part of me wants to say that I’d go to the moon for the experience, but ain’t shit up there for me. Some rocks and a cool view? You can get that in Joshua Tree without having to deal with the risk of your space shuttle blowing up.

What would be the scariest thing about the moon?

More than the deep vacuum of space, I think that the scariest thing about the moon would be the asshole clientele that “hot, must-see tourist destinations” attract. Tulum has become an ecological disaster because a bunch of Austrailians with dreadlocks wanna cosplay as shamans and take selfies on the beach. The idea of influencers on the moon is so terrifying.

So would going to the moon suck?

Just being on the moon alone sounds boring. What is there to do? Float? Unless you get the invite to Elon Musk’s space-base moon colony compound to do drugs and engage in Illumanati sex rituals, the whole experience sounds bland.

Rachel Millman (Social Editor, The Outline)

Would you go to the moon?

What mode of transportation are we using? Is it a flight? If it’s Frontier or Spirit I’d probably whine about it but still go. I will probably want snacks. What snacks are being provided? All of these are very snotty answers but in hypothetical situations, I can afford to be snotty. Anyway, yes. I would go to the moon.

What would be the best thing about a moon trip?

Seeing Stanley Kubrick’s soundstage. (Kidding.) I assume the moon would be very silent and I would thus be a lost more present. Plus if I died up there, I would probably be infamous for dying on the moon.

What about the worst?

Space is scary as hell! I get spooked easily, and I don’t actually want to die out there.

Kim Kelly (Freelance Writer)

Would you go to the moon?

Sure. I’m interested in barren landscapes and generally weird places anyway, and the moon checks off both of those boxes. The flight up there would probably be a little “much,” but I’m assuming that in whatever hypothetical future scenario we’re working with, they’d be able to outfit the space shuttle with a bar.

What would be the best thing about the moon?

I’d imagine the scenery and general eeriness of it would be cool, as well as the solitude. (I like being alone, and being on the literal moon seems like a way to ensure nobody’s on my ass.)

What about the worst?

Plodding around in a heavy, complicated spacesuit is less appealing, and I don’t think it’d be much fun to be up there for more than a day or two.

What would you bring up there?

Assuming all my basic necessities were taken care of (including having a source of light), I’d probably just bring along a good book and some space-whiskey. What else are you going to do after you’ve explored the immediate area? A crater is a crater at the end of the day, and the most appealing thing about this scenario is the lack of human terribleness. Hell is other people. Why should the moon be different from any other fortress of solitude?

Andrew Yang (Presidential Candidate)

Did not respond by press time.

[Rachel Millman contributed reporting to this story.]