A UK based company, Lunar Missions Ltd, is crowd-funding a trip to the moon on Kickstarter, hoping to cash in on the newest fad for anything related to space and science. The mission, called the Lunar Mission One, will begin with raising approximately $1 million from crowdfunding so that work can be started on the project. The estimated final cost of the first private lunar lander is nearly $1 billion. The lander might be able to touch the moon’s surface in ten years from now.
“Lunar Missions Ltd. is seeking to raise 600,000 British pounds ($940,000) over the next month via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to support studies of Lunar Mission One, a lunar lander mission planned for 2024 with both science and public outreach goals. The campaign raised more than 75,000 British pounds in its first 12 hours,” told SpaceNews.
The public will get a chance to buy space on memory discs (being referred to as “digital memory boxes”) which will finally be buried onto the lunar surface for as little as $15 or 10 pounds. The spacecraft will dig a hole at least 20 meters wide and perhaps 100 meters deep for burying these discs.
“The public will be invited to leave music, photos and videos on the disc helping creating a chronicle of the people of Earth. Those offering more funding will leave more data, including DNA in form of a strand of hair.”
“Governments are finding it increasingly difficult to fund space exploration that is solely for the advancement of human knowledge and understanding as opposed to commercial return,” said British engineer and city financier David Iron, who came up with the plan. “The world class team of advisers and supporters we have assembled will address this issue and crucially anyone from around the world can get involved for as little as a few pounds.”
The project has already received support from some celebrities like Brain Cox, who has said that the moon is a stepping stone to exploring the rest of space. The mission has been inspired by the success of ESA backed Rosetta mission which involved the landing of a washing machine sized lander (Philae) aboard a speeding satellite earlier last week.