UK to lead Moon lading mission funded by public
Landing on moon is nothing new to mankind. But a group of UK scientists and entrepreneurs are hoping to boldly go where no one has gone before. British team is planning to use public donations to fund a lunar landing
A moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned (robotic) missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 mission, on 13 September 1959.
British scientists plan to bury a time-capsule containing digital details and DNA of those who have donated money to the venture as well alongside an archive of the history of Earth. Finally, the mission will assess the practicality of a permanent manned base at the lunar South Pole.
Also included in the time capsule will be record of life on Earth. The archive will include a record of human history and civilisation to date alongside a species database showing the biodiversity of animals and plants.
“The project is plainly ambitious and challenging, but its special cultural and scientific features should generate wide interest and support. It deserves to succeed,” said Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and Past President of the Royal Society.
“It deserves to succeed.”
This mission is considered as the most ambitious crowd-funded project. They believe to raise funds that are required within ten years. Funding would include designing, launching a space craft which would not only travel to the Moon but also drill deep into its surface.
Initially it must raise £600,000 to get the project started. However it will take a further £3 billion to get it, literally, off the ground. Following the initial public phase the remaining funding requirements will be met through sales of ‘digital memory boxes’ in which donors can have their biographies recorded and taken to the Moon. These will also include a strand of hair so that their DNA can exist in space.
The team has claimed that around one per cent of the global population who can afford a memory box will buy one.
By 2017, the team are hoping to have finalised launch dates and have a final mission cost. The following year they will begin designing the spacecraft. By 2021 the craft will be built and testing will be carried out throughout 2022 and 2023 ahead of the launch in 2024.
– Sharanya Bharathwaj