You have probably read about the new crowdfunding project launched by the British organization Lunar Mission One. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Oh yes, that sounds like Mars One, Dutch based non-profit organization project. Instead of sending people in one-direction trip to Mars, that will be broadcasted as a reality TV program around the world, this time they want to bury your hair in the dirt. And you want it too.
You may ask yourself, „Why would I want such a thing?” Well, because it is important. It will contribute to the progress of the whole humanity. Our aspirations to know more, do more, and go farther, are no longer matter of prestige among countries, but are finally taking shape of our common interest.
Millions and millions of dollars have been spent on different scientific studies and experiments here on Earth, which tried to answer some important questions about our planet and origins of life on it. Well, maybe the answer is somewhere else, like in 4.5 billion year old rocks under the Moon’s surface. And, that’s the place where Lunar Mission One will search for those answers. The objective of this mission is to land the probe on the Moon’s surface, to bore a hole at least 20 meters deep, and take samples of the rocks unstirred since the formation of our solar system, unaffected by meteor bombardment and cosmic radiation.
Additionally, the probe will carry instruments, similar to those Rosetta’s probe Philae was equipped with on its mission to the comet 67 P/C-G. Their readings will determine the suitability of such environment for future human settlements on the Moon. At least, we’ll get to install radio telescope for low frequency astronomy, which is not possible here on Earth. Remember, if it wasn’t for Hubble, our understanding of space and life itself would be decades behind.
Still doesn’t sound incentive enough for you!? Can anyone assert we won’t need additional energy resources in the future, or even additional living space? Yes, it does sound too futuristic, but so did iPhone 50 years ago. And now, we can no longer imagine the world without smartphones. Public outcries have put many space-exploration projects previously funded by governments to a halt, because it looked like we’re doing it for its own sake. Governments can spend as much as they want on weapons and wars, but we become extremely sensitive when it comes to scientific studies. This new method of financing space explorations through crowdfunding will sidestep the problems of public funding through government programs. Now, we have a chance to do this not because someone made that decision for us, but because WE WANT to contribute to the creation of new perspectives for future generations.
Eighteen more days are left for this mission to generate £600, 000, less than $1 million, needed for the next phase of the project. The full costs of the mission are estimated to $800 million, which should be raised over the next 10 years. So far, more than 4,500 people backed this project on Kickstarter, raising almost two thirds of the total amount needed in the first phase. By participating, with £30 ($47.8) your name will appear in a digital ‘wall of thanks’ in the public archive, while £60 ($94.16) will secure your ‘place in the space’. You can upload whatever you want into your private ‘memory box’, a virtual time capsule that will be buried in the sampling hole, once the excavation is over. Minimum pledges for this project on Kickstarter are set to£1 ($1.6).
You may wonder, what about the hair from the beginning? Well, more money you pledge, more virtual, and some actual space you’ll get in the private archive.