Lunar Mission One, a project that has popped up on Kickstarter this week, has an undeniably ambitious (and awesome) goal. If the project manages to meet its $600,000 funding goal before December, Lunar Missions LTD will embark on a mission to send and unmanned drilling module to the south pole of the moon in 2024. The module will then attempt to drill down to a depth of at least 20 meters –ten times deeper than any previous mission has ever drilled before — and potentially as deep as 100 meters.
Why? By drilling this deep, mission hopes to “access lunar rock dating back up to 4.5 billion years to discover the geological composition of the moon, the ancient relationship it shares with our planet, and the effects of asteroid bombardment. Ultimately, the project will improve scientific understanding of the early solar system, the formation of our planet and the moon, and the conditions that initiated life on Earth.”
And it gets better. To help the campaign meet it’s lofty funding goal, Lunar Missions LTD has devised a brilliant way to incentivize pledges: They’ll place a time capsule in the borehole, and in exchange for a monetary donation, those who pledge their support will be allowed to place anything they want on the time capsule — within certain limits, of course.
The time capsule will consist of two parts. Part one is a public archive, which will consist of a “publicly-assembled, authoritative record of life on Earth, with a history of humankind and a species database that chronicles the Earth’s known biodiversity and how it all fits together – from geology to atmosphere.”
The second part of the capsule is a private archive, reserved exclusively for Kickstarter backers. Those who contribute £60 or more will receive a “Digital Memory Box,” that will be launched with the mission in ten years. “You will be able to upload whatever digital information you want: a personal message, a photo, a family tree, a poem, a video, your favorite song … the choice is yours!” claims the Kickstarter page.
There’s even an option to send a strand of your hair along with the time capsule — an appealing prospect to anyone who would like to have their DNA safely preserved in an off-planet location. Weird? Sure, but apparently people are into it.
Despite launching just a few days ago, Lunar Mission One’s Kickstarter campaign has already raised over 30 percent of its total funding goal — and it’s still gaining steam. It seems that privately-funded space travel is more popular than ever in 2014.
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