Astrobotic Partners with Lunar Mission One
Launched last year with a Kickstarter campaign that raised $1.02 million from backers including Stephen Hawking, Lunar Mission One is a UK-based project looking to do some real science near the Moon’s south pole in 2024.
In the meantime, they’ve got other things they hope to accomplish with the help of Astrobotic.
When Astrobotic touches down in Lacus Mortis (on the northeast of the Moon’s near side) sometime during 2017, on board will be several awesome projects from Lunar Mission One:
- Footsteps on the Moon. This project, available for uploading now, aims to collect images of your “footprint” (pictures of your feet, your steps—whatever you feel signifies your “footsteps” you can send to the Moon at no cost). Lunar Mission One hopes to collect footsteps from people all around the world, “all standing on the Moon, in peace, together.”
- Digital Memory Boxes. For those who want to have a little more on the Moon, Lunar Mission One will sell you a Digital Memory Boxes, which will allow you to send a collection of video, audio, images, or even a strand of you hair (complete with your DNA) to the Moon to be stored safely off-Earth for a very, very long time.
These kinds of projects allow private space missions to really “take off,” and involve more of the public directly with our bright neighbor, the Moon.
Lunar Mission One’s project is just one of many efforts that Astrobotic (and all the Google Lunar XPRIZE teams) will be taking with them to the Moon. The Mexico's national space agency will be sending a science payload on the mission, and fellow Google Lunar XPRIZE team Hakuto will actually have a race on the lunar surface with Astrobotic, with much of the $30 million purse of the Google Lunar XPRIZE on the line.
Astrobotic’s “Andy” and Hakuto’s “Moonraker” on a test race. [Image: George Thomas Mendel, via Hakuto.]
As numerous teams in the competition attract new partners and sponsors (like Part-Time Scientists’ exciting new partnership with Audi), there are sure to be many more opportunities like this to become involved—and big developments for the new space industry. So stay tuned to #GLXP to keep up on the latest developments from the #NewSpaceRace!