A new project dubbed Lunar Mission One, which aims to send a probe to the moon with a monster drilling tool 10 years from now, has already started its crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the mission.
The first part of the project, which organizers claim to be the most inspirational moon project since the July 20, 1969 landing of the Apollo 11 on the lunar surface, involves raising $950,000 through a Kickstarter campaign. Funding for the project will be used to send a probe armed with a drill and scientific instruments to the moon in 2024.
The lander's drill is capable of boring for lunar samples from depths between 65 feet to possibly 330 feet, and these samples would be analyzed by the probe's built-in scientific instruments.
The result, which will be beamed back home on Earth, may offer new insights on the origin and evolution of our natural satellite and the Earth, and also reveal whether or not the subsurface of the moon has enough water to support the existence of life should humans build a moon base in the future.
The heart of the mission is to establish an archive on the moon. The plan is that the probe that would be sent to the lunar surface would carry with it time capsules that contain human DNA, such as strands of people's hair as well as digital histories of people's lives in the form of videos, music, text and pictures.
"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," the mission's Kickstarter campaign reads.
Given the favorable conditions on the moon, the "digital memory boxes" in these capsules could likely last for up to a billion years. The catch, of course, is that anyone can't just have a place in these time capsules. Anyone who wants to be part of this lunar archive has to pay. The idea of Lunar Missions Ltd. founder David Iron is to charge people who want to have their DNA sent and buried in the moon.
"Anyone from around the world can get involved for as little as a few pounds," Iron said. "Lunar Mission One will make a huge contribution to our understanding of the origins of our planet and the moon, and will inspire a generation to learn more about space, science and engineering -- in the same way that my generation was inspired by the Apollo moon landings."