Above: The Astrobotic ‘Griffin’ lunar lander that will shuttle personal possessions to the lunar surface as part of the Google Lunar XPRIZE Competition. Credit: Astrobotic
Ever hear the saying, “Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the Stars”? A private spaceflight company called Astrobiotic is now offering the public an opportunity for a direct hit!
The company has just introduced “MoonMail”, a service allowing anyone with a few extra bucks to send a personal object of their choice to the lunar surface. Capsules of varying sizes are available to carry mementos, personal heirlooms, or whatever one chooses on a one-way trip to the surface of the Moon aboard the Astrobotic lunar lander.
The cost to immortalize your cherished keepsake starts at $460 for the smallest capsule (0.5 inches across), with incrementally larger sizes that go up in price. But not to worry if the cost is out of reach. Astrobotic is also holding a contest to award the best idea for an object to send to the Moon with a free capsule! Company representatives will choose their favorite, most meaningful entry for flight which can be submitted online at the Astrobotic website (see below) until Dec. 23rd.
Astrobotic is one of several international competitors participating in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition, a $30 million contest for privately funded space companies to land a robot on the Moon and explore the surface while beaming back images to Earth. The capsules (numbering in the 100s and perhaps even 1000s) of personal items will be flown to the Moon during the company’s first spaceflight in the competition sometime in the next two years.
The MoonMail service reflects a growing trend toward affording civilians involvement in space.
“Today marks the beginning of a new kind of participant on the moon: the individual,” said Astrobotic CEO John Thornton during a press call announcing the project on Dec. 11.
Visit astrobotic.com to enter to win the contest, purchase a capsule to immortalize your cherished keepsake, and learn more about the exciting venture to land a private spacecraft on the Moon!