This is beyond cool. A UK team is looking to raise £600,000 for an unmanned robotic lander destined for the Moon. Dubbed Lunar Mission One, the team says it is the most inspirational lunar project since the Apollo missions.
The mission will land a robot lander at the South Pole of the Moon and will commence drilling. Evidently, the Lunar Mission One teams is going all in. Using what they call pioneering technology, the team plans to drill at least 20 meters down, possibly to a depth of 100 meters. Just hitting the 20 meter mark will be 10 times deeper than ever drilled before.
Lunar Mission One is striking while the solar system and space iron is hot. We recently saw everyone riveted with the Rosetta / Philae lander. Toss in the Interstellar movie, and we all have a case of the explorer bug.
The mission, if funded, will launch a rocket into Earth’s orbit within 10 years. From there, an upper stage will boost the lander towards the Moon. Once it settles into orbit around the lunar poles, it will search for the safest landing spot. On approach, the legs of the lander will extend to absorb the shock of the landing, and the engines will cut out just before touchdown.
And then it drills. Yes, let the Armageddon jokes fly. It will drill for around four months, reaching depths of 20-100 meters. Scientific instruments will analyze the samples and keep them stored. From there, the Lunar Mission One wants to arrange transport for the samples back to Earth.
Lunar Mission Kickstarter
It wouldn’t be Kickstarter without some perks. The basics are here, including a digital ‘thank you’ wall stored in the lander. Lunar Mission One will also feature a digital time capsule – both public and private. The public version will have a digital history of life on Earth. The private? Well, who ever said cat memes wouldn’t make it to the moon?
Backers of the project at the £60 level and higher will get a chance to archive whatever moments they think belongs in space. Yeah, this will undoubtedly be hilarious. There will even be a physical storage area to store your hair. Yep, you will be getting cloned by some alien race in the next billion years.
If you have some serious coin lying around, the £5000 level will reserve you a spot in mission control for the landing. That would be an epic Christmas present for astronomy buffs. Imagine sitting in mission control for the Rosetta mission. Sign me up.
If the funding trips past it’s goal, the Lunar Mission One team is going full LeBron. There won’t be just Mission Two… Three… Four… Here’s hoping this turns into a reality.
The campaign is linked throughout, but go to this Kickstarter page to read more.