One of the more interesting Kickstarter campaigns that I’ve backed is Lunar Mission One, which is pretty much as it sounds: a space mission to the moon. It’s not a manned mission, but the plan is to send a lander to the moon that can drill down at least 20 metres below the surface, and analyse what it can find. A bit like the rovers that NASA has sent to Mars, albeit static and not mobile.
The campaign asked for £600,000 and raised £672,447. Whilst this won’t be the total cost of the mission, it’s enough to get the project started and should mean that funding from other organisations is more forthcoming further down the line. It’s a long term project that’s been planned for 7 years now, and it’s likely to be another 9-10 years before the lander is launched from Earth – 2024 is the estimate. A further phase may allow any samples collected to be returned to Earth via a second launch.
My pledge was for £3, to gain access to updates about the project. There’s been a few and I’ve already been sent a questionnaire since the project was funded. It’ll be an interesting project to keep tabs on over the next few years.