The Rosetta/Philae probe landing on a comet last week has reignited in earthlings a passion for space exploration. But now that NASA’s shuttle fleet is grounded and most spacecrafts belong to private companies, there is no group that is really pushing the envelope in terms of being space pioneers. That has not stopped one small group of Brits who have decided they are going to fund their own moon mission via Kickstarter.
Now, before you get excited, no they are not planning on going to the moon themselves, but instead are aiming to send a robotic probe. The would have to raise £500m (about $800m) if they are to make Lunar Mission One a reality within 10 years’ time. Naturally, £500m is quite a large sum of money, but in return, the team is offering the public an opportunity to “place photos, text and their DNA sequences in a time capsule, which will be buried beneath the moon’s surface.
Talking to the BBC, team leader David Iron said, “Rather than just watching the mission, people can be directly involved, not just through funding but helping to make key decisions such as the selection of the landing site or what should be included in the public archive.”
The first goal is to raise £600,000 in order to fund the initial stages of research and development. If this stage of the project is a success, the mission already has a proposed timeline worked out, so the founders can then focus their attention on securing further funds. While it is a noble goal and this space fan applauds their effort, one can’t help but feel mankind’s journey into the unknown is taking a step back. Man last stepped on the moon in 1972 and it seems we won’t be going back before this probe does – which isn’t for another 10 years. I guess we’re going to be remaining Earth-bound for quite a while longer.
Via BBC News