A UK-based aerospace consortium is developing plans to send a robotic spacecraft to the Moon by 2024. The goal of Lunar Mission One is to survey the south pole of the Moon to determine if it is suitable for a human base sometime in the future.

Moon landing

The project organizers hope to raise £500 million (around $800 million) for the moon landing project by accepting donations from the public.

In an interesting twist, donors would have photos, text and their DNA included in a time capsule which will eventually be buried under the lunar surface for long-term safekeeping.

The audacious moon landing plan has been endorsed by a number of famous scientists and scientific organizations, including Professor Brian Cox, the Astronomer Royal Lord Rees and Prof Monica Grady of the Open University.

Statement from project head

Project leader David Irons explains how the project will work. “Anyone in the world will be able to get involved for as little as just a few pounds. Lunar Mission One will make a huge contribution to our understanding of the origins of our planet and the Moon.”

“The project’s long-term legacy will be a new way of funding space exploration,” he said in an interview with BBC News earlier this week.

Moon landing project to be crowdfunded

The Moon Mission team hope to raise £600,000 (approx. $960,000) by using the international crowd funding service Kickstarter over the next four weeks to fund the initial phase of the project.

If all goes as planned, funds will be continually received through contributions from the public for the next four years. With their contributions, donors can purchase digital storage space on the lander for personal text messages, pictures, music and videos. You can even take a shot at genetic immortality of sorts by sending up a strand of hair containing your DNA, which experts say could survive for one billion years buried under the surface of the moon.

Sending a short message will only cost a few pounds, a compressed digital photo will be a few tens of pounds while a short compressed video will cost you close to £200. The cost to send a hair sample is only £50.

The proposed Moon lander will also contain a digital archive of human history and science to serve as a legacy likely to survive even if our species becomes extinct on Earth.