British scientists to crowdfund Moon landing with Kickstarter

Nov 25, 2014

Graphic by Richard Burgess

By Sarah Knapton

Mankind may have already accomplished the giant leap of walking on the Moon but a group of scientists and entrepreneurs is hoping to boldly go where no-one has gone before.

In arguably the most ambitious crowdfunded project ever attempted, a British team is planning to use public donations to fund a lunar landing.

Within ten years, they believe they can raise enough money to design, build and launch a spacecraft capable of not only travelling to the Moon, but drilling deep into its surface.

They also want to bury a time-capsule, containing digital details and DNA of those who have donated money to the venture as well alongside an archive of the history of Earth. Finally, the mission will assess the practicality of a permanent manned base at the lunar South Pole.

It may sound incredible, but ‘Lunar Mission One’ already has the backing from eminent space scientists at universities across Britain as well as former Conservative science minister Ian Taylor, Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and UK Parliamentary Space Committee.


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3 comments on “British scientists to crowdfund Moon landing with Kickstarter

  • What a fantastic idea, I’ve always thought we should return to the moon as it is a relatively close by platform for all kinds of low gravity experiments, telescope base and perhaps a better platform than the space station.

    The trick to funding is to have many avenues. Apparently there is an old proverb that suggest he who has many lines in the water will catch more fish. Anyone interested in working with a Gold savings program to raise funds?
    Get in touch with me via this post.

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  • I think this is just another example of the British government focussed on short-termism, and leaving funding of space research to anyone who will pay for it! – as with the underfunded Beagle 2.

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  • The UK government does however, seem to have plenty of money for silly destructive wars!
    As of 2013, UK Afghanistan war alone cost have been calculated as £37bn.[21] In June 2010, UK costs exceeded £20bn for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

    The war in Afghanistan has cost Britain at least £37bn and the figure will rise to a sum equivalent to more than £2,000 for every taxpaying household, according to a devastating critique of the UK’s role in the conflict.

    Since 2006, on a conservative estimate, it has cost £15m a day to maintain Britain’s military presence in Helmand province. The equivalent of £25,000 will have been spent for every one of Helmand’s 1.5 million inhabitants, more than most of them will earn in a lifetime, it says.

    By 2020, the author of a new book says, Britain will have spent at least £40bn on its Afghan campaign, enough to recruit over 5,000 police officers or nurses and pay for them throughout their careers. It could fund free tuition for all students in British higher education for 10 years.

    In the first full attempted audit of what he calls Britain’s “last imperial war”, Frank Ledwidge, author of Investment in Blood, published next week by Yale University Press, estimates British troops in Helmand have killed at least 500 non-combatants. About half of these have been officially admitted and Britain has paid compensation to the victims’ families.

    The rest are based on estimates from UN and NGO reports, and “collateral damage” from air strikes and gun battles.

    Ledwidge includes the human and financial cost of long-term care for more than 2,600 British troops wounded in the conflict and for more than 5,000 he calls “psychologically injured”. Around 444 British soldiers have been killed in the Afghan conflict, according to the latest official MoD figures.

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