Most people watching the Moon landings in 1969 thought they would never make it to the Moon... but it's time for a re-think. The astronauts left their prints and the rest of us just dreamed, but Lunar Mission One now intends to make it possible with their Footsteps on the Moon project.
We have secured a digital payload on the Astrobotic Moon Lander, slated for a 2017 launch. On it, we want to take a vast collection of pictures of your footsteps, shoes, wheelchair tracks or however you leave your impression on the Earth, and place them on the Moon. And we will do that for nothing in the hopes that we can take images from every single country on Earth.
In digital form, your footsteps will rest on the Moon, like the iconic boot prints left by the first astronauts, almost 50 years ago.
Behind most photographs lies a story and you can send your story too. Buying a Digital Memory Box allows you space to tell that story, record your 'first steps' or your 'giant leap'; perhaps you want to send a photo of your child's first steps, record your first day at work, or simply say who you are and why you want to 'stand' on the Moon.
And for us, this is just the first step. After 2017, we are aiming towards Lunar Mission One, which is designed to be a crowd-funded lunar science mission.
Lunar Mission One will provide invaluable support to the current international effort to return to the Moon by drilling deep into the lunar South Pole for geological samples, and testing the polar region for its suitability for a crewed base.
These days, scientific space missions are often international. With governments willing to spend less and less on the exploration of the Universe, individual countries are having to team up in order to achieve their ambitions in space.
As a result, space exploration is now an ambassador for international peace and cooperation as never before. Even as the political fallout over the Ukraine crisis was showing no sign of settling, so Russia continued to launch US astronauts into space and the International Space Station collaboration continued to work as normal.
Yet this is still a top-down approach, with governments making the decisions on behalf of us. Lunar Mission One is the reverse. It is an empowering project that seeks collaboration from the bottom up.
A Kickstarter campaign in Nov-Dec 2014 has already shown the public appetite for this mission. It raised $1 million dollars from thousands of individuals in over 70 countries around the globe. Those of you that buy Digital Memory Boxes as part of Footsteps on the Moon for launch in 2017 will also be contributing towards Lunar Mission One. As a thank you, we will also give you for no extra cost the same value of data on our Lunar Mission One in 2024.
This is a new way to fund science. If enough people around the World contribute, not only will we be able to build and fly Lunar Mission One, we will also be able to build the most comprehensive archive of life on Earth, encapsulating humankind in all its similarities and differences, together with the animals and plants that exist with us.
If we succeed, when future generations look up at the Moon, they will know that our legacy is stored there too, safe and secure for a billion years.
Our first step is to get footsteps from every single country in the world. How do we do this? Simple. You upload your image to the microsite for free, then ask your family and friends to do the same. They ask their friends and family, and before you know it, the whole world is involved: all standing on the Moon, in peace, together.
Upload your image for free at: www.lunarmissionone.com/footsteps
Learn more about Lunar Mission One at: https://lunarmissionone.com