Crowdfunded Moon mission aims to drill lunar south pole in 2024, bury time capsule

Contributed by
Nov 20, 2014, 6:54 PM EST (Updated)

The folks at NASA might not be keen to return to the Moon, but a new privately funded space project thinks there’s still a lot more to learn up there — and they’re planning on leaving a few things behind.

The U.K.-based Lunar Mission One has launched a massive Kickstarter aiming to raise around $750,000 to send a lander to the unexplored south pole of the Moon to drill 20-100 meters into the surface — which is deeper than any previous mission. The team believes that will allow access to lunar rock that is 4.5 billion years old, which could be chock-full of useful intel about the history of the solar system.

Even cooler? They plan to use that nifty hole to drop in a time capsule from Earth, and the folks who back the Kickstarter get to leave their own message on the lunar surface. From digital images to videos, music and even hair or DNA (seriously), the capsule will be a varied assortment of Earth goodies.

David Iron, founder of the company behind Lunar Mission One, told Popular Science they believe the mission is a great way to inspire the general public to reinvest in space exploration. Both literally and figuratively:

“I could see an enormous amount of interest from a large portion of people regarding space exploration, but they didn’t have a way to express their support other than watch these missions on television or read about them. It’s a huge opportunity for a large number of people not just to watch but to take part in the archive and take part in the science and engineering.”

Along with all those objectives, the mission could serve as a precursor for a potential human colony way down the line. Iron said they hope to use some of the data gathered to help determine whether a lunar base in that area is feasible.

So, what’s your take on the project? Would you help fund a Moon mission if you got to send something along?

(Via Popular Science)