About this project
Don’t just follow space exploration – be a part of it!
We plan to send an unmanned robotic landing module to the South Pole of the Moon – an area unexplored by previous missions.
We’re going to use pioneering technology to drill down to a depth of at least 20m – 10 times deeper than has ever been drilled before – and potentially as deep as 100m. By doing this, we will 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.
The Rosetta mission has opened the way for a new era of pioneering space exploration and demonstrates the public appetite to engage with the secrets of the solar system. We want this to be a truly international mission that everyone everywhere can get involved in, so we are using Kickstarter to finance the next phase of development. This is your chance to be part of Lunar Mission One and to reserve your place in space. Your pledge will reserve you a digital memory box that will be buried in the moon during the mission as part of a 21st Century time capsule.
We will place a 21st century time capsule inside the borehole that we drill on the Moon to be preserved for about a billion years by the exceptional conditions within the Moon. Our time capsule will consist of two main parts:
The private archive will consist of millions and millions of individual digital ‘memory boxes’. As a Kickstarter supporter you can be among the first to reserve your place in space and secure a ‘memory box’. In time, you will be able to upload anything you want into your virtual ‘memory box’ just as you would with a real-world time capsule. Over the next 10 years, anyone around the world will be able to buy a ‘place in space’ – this is how we secure the longer term funding for the Mission. When we launch, all of this information will be inside the time capsule ready to be buried on the Moon.
The public archive will contain a publically 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. This archive will be available online both during development and after the Mission has been accomplished. We will have laid the groundwork for future generations to develop and maintain this hugely valuable research and educational tool. Publically owned and accessible to all, this archive is a hugely ambitious plan that could only be resourced by a project of this scale.
Within about ten years, we will launch a rocket into Earth orbit carrying the Lunar Missions spacecraft. The names of some members of the Lunar Missions Club will be inscribed on the sides of the space craft.
An upper stage will boost the spacecraft – which will also act as the lunar lander and drilling platform – towards the Moon.The craft will slow down into orbit around the lunar poles, and adjust its orbit for a precision landing.
From the viewing gallery at mission control, members of the Lunar Missions Club will be able to watch as the spacecraft slows itself down again to head towards its preselected landing site near the South Pole, checks its position with reference to the target area and adjusts its trajectory as required.
In the last minute before landing, as it slows itself for the last time, it will look for any small hazards and make final adjustments. The engines will cut out just before the moment of landing and the legs of the craft will absorb the residual momentum, stabilising and settling the craft on the surface of the Moon.
And then the drilling will begin. With a 2 metre drill connected to the spacecraft by a cable, we will drill a 5cm diameter borehole. As the drilling progresses, the equipment will retrieve cylindrical rock cores for analysis by a suite of scientific instruments onboard the spacecraft.
Drilling will continue for three to four months until we reach at least our target depth of 20m – but possibly as deep as 100m. Once the final samples are retrieved, the spacecraft will lower into place the time capsule containing the public and private archives and plug the borehole.
Depending on the mission’s success, we would arrange a return mission to bring the most important samples back for more detailed analysis on Earth. This would be the next mission funded by the Lunar Missions Trust.
If you want to know more about the technology that makes this mission possible, please see our website.
By pledging £60 you can be one of the first to reserve yourself a Digital Memory Box. Think of it like an iPod or memory stick: into your memory box, you will be able to upload whatever digital information you want: a personal message, a photo, a family tree, a poem, a video, your favourite song…the choice is yours! Millions of individual memory boxes, belonging to people all over the world, will make up the private archive – to be buried deep inside the Moon as part of Lunar Mission One.
We expect that the private archive will be able to store tens of Terabytes. To put this into perspective, a photograph can range from kilobytes to megabytes in size. Precise costings for data have not yet been confirmed, but the more you spend, the bigger your memory box.
Sales of memory boxes will start during Lunar Mission One’s development stage, but why wait until then? By pledging £60 or over on Kickstarter, you will get a voucher for a memory box – the value of which will be equivalent to your pledge. So if you pledge more now, you secure more space later! We will also be offering physical space for you to deposit a strand of your hair.So, what would I get for £60?
Essentially, what you are reserving is ‘space’ in the time capsule – either digital space (for data) or physical space for a strand of hair or a combination of both. We will send you a voucher for a value equivalent to your pledge. Now, at this stage we can’t give you precise data on exactly how much space your voucher will buy you. That’s part of what we’ll be working on in the development phase that you are all helping us to fund (thank you again!). Our plan, however, is that a £60 voucher will buy enough physical space for an anonymous deposit of a single strand of human hair. Or you might choose to use your £60 voucher to buy space for digital data instead. Or top up your voucher and go for a combination of hair and data.
Here comes the science bit… this mission will add significantly to our detailed scientific understanding of the Moon, Earth, the solar system and the galaxy.
The drill will carry instruments to measure geological conditions and chemical compositions. After the drilling, instruments including seismometers will be placed into the borehole to get more accurate readings.
By drilling down to a depth of at least 20 metres, 10 times further than ever drilled before (though potentially as deep as 100 metres), we will be able to access and analyse lunar rock that is 4.5 billion years old. Studying rock from deep below the surface will allow us to understand, better than ever before, the geological composition of the Moon, the relationship it shares with our planet and the effects of the late heavy bombardment period on the inner solar system.
The spacecraft’s instruments will also measure the local environmental conditions on and above the lunar surface.This will include the emissions of particles and electromagnetic radiation from the Sun and galaxy, and the bombardment of micrometeorites and larger objects.
Our mission will also assess the composition of the surface dust layer looking in particular for oxygen and hydrogen which could be converted to forms of energy. From all this, the project will improve our understanding of the suitability of the lunar south pole as a location for a permanent human base.
Further, by measuring the variation of radiological conditions as the Earth dips in and out of sight, scientists can investigate and plan for a future radio telescope for low frequency astronomy from the Moon, something not possible from Earth.
Depending on the mission’s success, we would arrange a return mission to bring samples back for more detailed analysis on Earth.
No that’s not all!
As well as adding to the store of human knowledge and understanding about space, our planet and the Moon, Lunar Mission One will also create a lasting legacy for the future. Supported by the some of the most prominent bodies and institutions in science, education and space exploration, our global education programme will inspire school children everywhere to explore space, science, engineering and technology – just as the Apollo 11 Moon landing inspired a generation of aspiring astronauts.
Over the next ten years we will carry on raising money to fund Lunar Mission One. Any surplus money raised from the mission will go to the Lunar Missions Trust to fund further space science and exploration … Missions Two, Three, Four …
By taking part in our Kickstarter, you can be directly involved in the development of this lunar mission as a member of the Lunar Missions Club. At key points throughout the next decade we will be giving members of the Club the opportunity to investigate and inform key decisions about the project such as the organisation and management of the public archive.
You will have access to exclusive updates, information and experiences: like meeting the teams developing the project, attending the sealing of the archive and the launch party or watching the launch live and direct at mission control.
AND you can be one of the first to reserve your place in space: your own digital memory box, to be stored in a lunar time capsule buried on the Moon.
Be a part of space history.
Be a part of world history.
Be a part of Lunar Mission One.
We’ve been working on this for seven years. Everyone so far has been working at risk and for most of us this has been a project we’ve worked on in the evenings and at weekends. We’ve created the science case and identified the baseline instruments (thank you science team); we’ve checked the feasibility of the mission technology, including costs, risks and timescales (thank you UK Space Agency and RAL Space); we’ve checked the revenue potential (thank you SPA and Trajectory); we’ve developed a website (thank you GreenEgg); we have set up the Lunar Missions Trust; we’ve engaged with hundreds of interested scientists and educational experts (thank you all for your time); and we’ve identified the management teams we need to proceed.
We’ve reached the limit of what we can do part-time. The next three years are going to be hard, full-time work to set the project up. We need to confirm and agree the lunar science and develop the instrument package. We need to plan and research the online public archive. We need to get commercial partners on board to design and develop the lunar landing module and the drilling mechanism. We need to pilot the education programme. We need to prepare the sales and marketing campaign for our memory boxes. And we need to do all of this globally.
We know that this project can work. We know that our funding model based on future sales of our digital memory boxes will work. But we need money to get to the next stage. We are asking the Kickstarter community to help us bring this exciting and innovative project to life. The target funding allows us to put together the professional management team that will set the project up and acquire further funding. The stretch target would fund the entire setup stage.
Become a member of the Lunar Missions Club and you can be part of the team; gain exclusive, behind the scenes access to a real lunar mission; secure your place in the private archive – your very own time capsule in the Moon; and when we launch to the Moon, you will be able to say that you were part of making it happen.
Now is your chance to participate in this global project from the start, by pledging a donation at this early stage and helping us to move the project into the next phase of development.
Although the pledges are in UK pounds you can pledge using any currency. To see the current mid-price conversion rate for your currency and a currency converter please go to http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
Note: This is only indicative as the pledge conversion will be calculated at the rate that is current at the end of the Kickstarter campaign as set by your bank or financial institution.
The project is being led initially by Lunar Missions Ltd. Ultimate responsibility will then be transferred to a special non-profit charity, the Lunar Missions Trust, whose objectives are “the advancement of education and research in the fields of space science, engineering and technology and promotion of the applications thereof”. As the name implies, Lunar Mission One will be the Trust’s first mission; but if revenues are in line with market research projections, then this mission will raise surplus funds that will be used to finance future inspirational space science and exploration projects.
As overall technical advisors for the first stage of the project, Lunar Mission One has engaged RAL Space, which has been involved in developing more than 200 space missions and has supported NASA and European Space Agency missions, including the on-going Rosetta mission.
Sir Graeme Davies – Chairman
Former university Vice-Chancellor (London, Glasgow, Liverpool) and CEO of the Universities Funding Council.
David Iron – Founder
Project financing advisor and specialist in public/private partnerships, with particular experience in the space sector.
Professor Monica Grady – Trustee
Leading space scientist, specialising in cosmic mineralogy and meteoritics.
Ian Taylor – Chairman
Former UK Government Science Minister and Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee.
David Iron – Founder
Angela Lamont – Director
Broadcast media presenter and producer for science and technology.
More information about the Mission Team, the Science Team and the Education Team can be found here.
This is an ambitious project and some of these dates are approximate but this is our planned timetable as it stands at the moment.
Global engagement timings:
- Public archive: Ongoing process to plan, manage and assemble archive content with public contributions.
- Education programme: Planned and trialled over first three years. Rolled out fully following main mission contract award.
- Project support: Ongoing programme to facilitate technical participation and to allow people to fund the project by buying personal space in the private archive.
Wow! You’re keen aren’t you? OK, so if you want to know even more you can go to the Lunar Mission One website and follow the links. Don’t forget to come back and pledge.
Press enquiries: For further information, photos, videos or an interview with a spokesperson, please contact email@example.com or call +44 (0)20 3327 4050 (9am to 6pm GMT) or +44 (0)7985 455 695 at other times.
Risks and challenges
Lunar Mission One is an exciting and ambitious project. Owing to the nature of its size, scale and complexity (not to mention all of the unknowns of space and lunar exploration which we hope to learn about on the way) Lunar Mission One is bigger and more complicated than the average Kickstarter project and so there are more risks and challenges involved and a few extra considerations in addition to those provided on Kickstarter’s website.
By making a pledge to Lunar Missions Limited’s (LML) Kickstarter Project, you agree to accept the risks as we’ve defined them below, and any other risks, even if they are not explicitly stated here. In the future, we may have to request further information from Backers to enable delivery of the rewards; change the dates on which we estimate that the Project will be finished or we will be able to deliver rewards; or make other changes. LML will do its best to notify you of any such changes via Kickstarter.com, its website, Lunar Missions Club and/or any an email address that you provide. All questions or disputes regarding eligibility for and delivery of pledge rewards will be resolved solely by LML and within the legal jurisdiction of the UK.
Engineering and Team — Lunar Mission One is a unique project with many contingent parts including design, engineering, mission control, science and education. This Kickstarter project is to raise the funds to set up the management and procurement teams to deliver Lunar Mission One: this Kickstarter campaign is not for the whole space mission. We already have a team of experts who have shown a desire to become involved in this project and are expected to come on-board. That said, building, launching and landing a spacecraft is difficult and there are lots of uncertainties involved Including the procurement processes necessary for the set up phase, all of which needs to be done before the technology is developed and none of which at this stage is guaranteed.We are constantly iterating our mission concepts and the CGI video developed as part of this Kickstarter project is only a projection of what we anticipate. As a result, the end spacecraft may differ from current predictions. Our project may also be influenced by the Kickstarter process, and may change following the campaign based on input from the pledgers. We’re always ready to make modifications to improve astronomy, education and the ability to drill and leave the archives on the moon.
Launch & Operations — to get Lunar Mission One into space will require a rocket launch. However, as is true for any launch and subsequent space operations, it opens up a few challenges:
- Rockets and lunar landings can fail, resulting in loss or degradation of service. We will endeavour to provide fall-back solutions including an insurance-backed repeat launch and even a guarantee of a repeat lunar mission if the public’s funding from memory boxes is sufficient.
- The launch and operation, including communication of a spacecraft and lunar lander is technically complex and involves many risks beyond LML’s control. LML is not responsible for any failure to perform all or part of the Kickstarter Project if such failure is caused by third parties and what the lawyers like to call “force majeure” - events or conditions beyond LML’s reasonable control such as explosion, acts of nature, war, civil disturbances, acts of civil or military authorities, legal or regulatory changes, asteroid impacts, alien interference, cosmic events, intergalactic battle or other causes beyond LML’s control.
Private Archive — managing and uploading thousands of messages, videos, music and DNA and selfies is no easy task. We will be building a web-based platform to handle all of the content uploading and loading onto the archive. The commercial terms of the private archive will be set following extensive research and development, as well as a market analysis, which we expect to complete at later stages of the overall project. All Backers whose pledge contains access to the Private Archive will be kept up to date with this platform as it develops but of course, Backers will be responsible for the integrity of their own content prior to uploading. We expect to provide privacy options for making content available on the Internet, if the contributors so wish, in which case we reserve the right to prevent any Private Archive contributor, including any backer to this project, from uploading any explicit, offensive, degrading or copyright infringing content into the private archive….so no naughtiness!
Obtaining Rewards — to obtain a reward a Backer must be verified following the completion of a successful Kickstarter campaign and the full pledge payment received. It will also be the Backer’s responsibility to keep LML up to date with contact details and whereabouts.All rewards are subject to availability and restrictions may apply as to when rewards can be provided. In the event LML is unable to fulfil any reward for any reason, LML will offer the affected Backer a fair substitution of the reward upon request. We estimate that in some situations it may take in excess of one year to fulfil all pledge rewards to Backers of the Kickstarter campaign, so please be patient. Because we need to save all our project money for things like rocket fuel and because this project is international, as much as we would love to offer flights or even teleportation across the globe to attend any of the events listed as part of the Kickstarter rewards, we simply cannot do so. It will be the case that, wherever you live in the world, you the Backer will be solely responsible for all travel arrangements and expenses, including accommodation, in order to attend any of the events listed in the Kickstarter rewards.
LML is not responsible for lost or stolen rewards, certificates or tickets. Backers are solely responsible for determining any tax liability arising out of rewards provided by LML. Backers are subject to and must comply with any additional terms, conditions and restrictions that may apply to specific rewards.
Certain rewards may be subject to minimum requirements regarding age or other factors. It is the Backer’s sole responsibility to comply with all necessary requirements for the reward as described.
Backer agrees to hold LML and its affiliates, supporters and subsidiaries harmless against any loss or liabilities arising from Backer’s participation in the mission.
Everything regarding the Kickstarter Project, including the website and all rewards are provided ‘as is’.
Nothing within this ‘Risks and challenges’ section will be deemed to supersede Kickstarter’s own terms and conditions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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