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Lunar Mission One: A Moon mission for everyone

Updated Tuesday, 18th November 2014

Find out about the most exciting Moon mission since the Apollo landings and discover how you can get involved. 

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A full moon Creative commons image Icon Aleksander Markin under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license Ever since astronaut Neil Armstrong uttered the words: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind", it's fair to say the world has had a fascination with its mysterious neighbour, the Moon. For this reason, we are excited to announce the most inspirational Moon mission since the Apollo landings and we are delighted that the Open University is a partner and adviser on Lunar Mission One.

Read on to uncover the idea behind the mission and the unique way it will be funded. You can also watch a video on the mission where Dr Mahesh Anand gives us more detail on this revolutionary project. 

If you simply can't wait for the mission to begin, why not delve into some of our fun and FREE content on moons?

You may even want to take it further by seeing what The Open University has to offer in planetary sciences and astronomy.  

What is Lunar Mission One?

The plan is to send an international robotic lander to the South Pole of the Moon – an enigmatic area unexplored by previous Moon missions. Through the use of revolutionary drilling technology, the surface will be drilled down to a depth of at least 20m – 10 times deeper than has ever been drilled before. This will allow access to lunar rock dating back up to 4.5 billion years and will allow scientists to carry out experiments that will provide significant new insights into the origins and evolution of the Moon and Earth.

Watch the video below with Dr Mahesh Anand to find out more about Lunar Mission One

How is the Moon project funded?

Public funding for these types of mission is limited, so the Lunar Mission one will use the global crowd-funding platform Kickstarter to finance the development of around £500 million. Kickstarter supporters will become members of the Lunar Missions Club and will be rewarded with a range of involvement, information and rewards including their own ‘digital memory box’, in which their photos, DNA and text will be contained in a time capsule. These memory boxes will eventually go on sale to the millions of people around the world and all of them will be included in the 21st century time capsule to be buried below the lunar surafe as part of the mission. Any excess funding will go into a Trust to finance future space science and exploration.

Alongside these individual archives, a public archive will be created to go in the capsule: a digital record of life, human history and civilisation, and a scientific description of the biosphere with a database of species. Publically owned and accessible to all, this archive is a hugely ambitious plan that could only be resourced by a project of this scale.

What will Lunar Mission One achieve?

As well as finding out more about the origins and science behind the Moon and Earth, Lunar Mission One is also about inspiring a new generation of children to get excited about space, science, engineering and technology. A global education programme is planned as part of the project, working with renowned education institutions like the Open University, UCL and the Institute of Education.
This is huge project that will include participation on a global scale in support of space science. What's more, it will create an incredible legacy that will change the way we explore space – forever.
Read the article below to discover more about the objectives of the mission. 

Who is involved?

Lunar Mission One is being run by Lunar Missions Ltd, its operating company. It is being developed and supported by a number of leading figures and organisations in the industry with decades of experience in the science and space sectors.
Partners and advisers include RAL Space, University College London, Open University and the Institute of Education. Trustees and directors include Ian Taylor, former UK Government Science Minister; Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary & Space Science at The Open University; Sir Graeme Davies, Former University Vice Chancellor; and Angela Lamont, broadcast media presenter & producer.

How can I participate?

You can find out more about the mission and get involved by visiting the Lunar Mission One website
Support the mission on social media by using the #LunarMissionOne hashtag and following @LunarMissionOne

Discover more about moons with our FREE learning tools

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