Product and USP's (Unique Selling Points)

Lunar Mission One’s core product to be offered for sale is the storage of personal information in an archive for discovery far into the future. The ultimate time capsule, its contents will be held in containers deposited below the Moon’s surface. This private archive can contain digital information such as text, photos, audio or video, and also DNA code stored in a shaft of hair, permanently tagged with personal details.


A hair shaft contains an individual’s genome, but that genome is not preserved intact. It is possible to recover DNA code from hair and to use that information to reconstruct the genome sequence with computer software, by mapping the recovered fragments to a reference genome. This means that, in principle, it might be possible to use DNA recovered from hair to reconstruct a genetic lookalike. However, this would require a more detailed knowledge of the complex machinery of DNA processes in cells than that which exists today.

The product generates imaginations of the future, of its discovery beyond foreseeable human existence, and it allows for participation in a grand vision, in space exploration, in the future of the planet. On a more practical timescale, it allows for participation in scientific exploration, in technology innovation, and in an inclusive global education and cultural program.

It can be bought as a gift for friends and loved ones for their significant anniversaries and life events, with a copy kept on Earth for reference as a customer choice. The customer owns the information and chooses its privacy, and can buy optional extras such as associated merchandise and deeper participation in the project using the project’s specialist online facilities, and can even buy a low cost lottery option.

Lunar Mission One’s USPs are its Billion year timescale, its inclusion of low cost DNA, and its scale of global public engagement.



Present Market

Although the global space economy is large at around $300Bn, three quarters is taken up by satellite based commercial products and services. Global government expenditure of about $75Bn is dominated by the NASA budget, and around half is spent on exploration.

Excluding the private launch business, the annual commercial expenditure for exploration is relatively small, at around tens of millions of dollars, though expected to grow to hundreds of millions and more in the next few years (Google Lunar XPRIZE Market Study, London Economics, 2013: But consumer revenues for exploration remain elusive, and evidence shows it is difficult to crowdfund more than one tenth the amount required. There is a market for sending personal information into space – you can send digital memories, even ashes, into orbit or to the Moon and Mars – but the market size is in the millions of dollars.

Lunar Mission One therefore has to access the non-space markets.

Personal expenditure on DNA is over $1Bn. Global consumer expenditure on family histories is over $2Bn. The information archiving market is around $5Bn and growing by 15% pa (Information Archiving Market 2014-2018, The Radicati Group, Inc: The use of social media generates a media spend of over $30Bn and is growing by 30% pa (Statista website: The official lottery market is about $100Bn. Gifting is about 10% of retail trade, and exceeds $1Tr.

These are the markets that Lunar Mission One plans to tap into.




The private archive is a global mass market consumer offer. It is a niche product but for a very wide range of people. It attracts all wealth levels and cultures, though take-up will be affected by affordability and cultural affinity.

There are several reasons why individuals would buy into the private archive. Personal participation in a genuine space exploration mission is a high motivator, as is being part of an extensive and enduring record of life on Earth. A further motivator is the imaginative contemplation of the far future, of survival of the species, of a back-up of life and civilisation, and of a possible alien discovery – they all add to the sense of excitement, intrigue and reflection.

Key customer groupings are:

  • The online social media and networking generation who see Lunar Mission One as exciting and fun.
  • Those who want to gift for a notable event, associating with a person because of love or friendship.
  • Mature individuals with lifetime achievements to celebrate or legacies to create.
  • Those who simply want to create a memorial record; of and for themselves, their families, their friends and colleagues.

Customers will need access to the internet to fully buy into Lunar Mission One, but that will be a very high proportion of people by the time of the project’s main campaign. There will also be facilities for the remainder, including the very low cost lottery option and charitable offers.




There are many recording and preservation projects. None however has the longevity of Lunar Mission One’s archive. An archive below the surface of the Earth would be cheaper to create, but it would need servicing to maintain its artificial environmental conditions, and in hundreds of years would actually cost more than one below the surface of the Moon, which has no ongoing cost. A terrestrial archive would also be subject to greater risk of interference, either manmade or through natural geological change.

Information carried into outer space, for permanent spaceflight or for landing somewhere, could survive a long time depending on the mission and how much shielding is provided by the spacecraft. Ultimately though, the radiation and material passing through the solar system will eventually degrade and destroy a spacecraft and the information it carries. In addition, the problem with taking a record of human existence beyond the solar system, as did the 1970’s Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft, is the virtually zero chance of discovery as they have no means of being detected at the long distance scales of galactic solar formations.

Commercial human spaceflight is not considered a competitor. That market operates at far higher individual pricing levels, and for the most privileged. And although it offers a physical experience, it also has a physical risk.


Market Research

Lunar Mission One commissioned an independent market research exercise in 2012. It consisted of qualitative analysis from a series of focus groups, and an internet survey that delivered over 6,000 responses, half from the US and half from the UK, for quantitative analysis.

The initial reaction to the idea was about three quarters positive to one quarter negative, reflecting existing views of whether space exploration is worth it anyway. When asked, positive reactions led with the descriptors ‘exciting’, ‘fun’ and ‘amazing’. The negative led with ‘disbelief or impossible’, ‘ridiculous or unethical’, or simply ‘boring’.

The quantitative analysis confirmed the interest in Lunar Mission One’s main revenue proposal, for both digital information and DNA code stored in hair, with the US providing the main market. It also found that the core product of DNA/hair tagged with essential information could sell, as a niche product, in the low hundreds of dollars, for example, at approximately $300.

Using established factors for converting what people say they would buy into what they actually buy, and assuming 50% awareness in each market, the analysis forecast 2.8% take-up in the US and 1.8% take-up in the UK. With smaller proportions in other countries based on likely cultural affiliations, the mid-point global revenue forecast was $4.5Bn from 15m sales.

There was also substantial interest from the test population in a $75 early reservation, especially to help the project on its way. Other key statistics show that:

  • 40% would buy for gifting.
  • In the US, those in their twenties would be four times more likely to buy than those in their sixties.
  • 60% would be male, 40% female.
  • There would be interest at all wealth levels, but buying would be affected by affordability.
  • Around one in ten were concerned about the inclusion of DNA or the ethics of the archive; too small to stop people buying but large enough to need counteracting by the marketing messages.

You can find out more about the market research here.




The digital information will have a wide range of prices, depending on the quantity, from a few dollars for small amounts, to a very expensive sum for large amounts. However, the price per bit of storage will go down as the amount purchased goes up. The exact price per bit will depend on the archive technology to be selected – technology that is being developed during the early stages of the project.

The strand of hair is likely to start from $90 for a simple anonymous deposit, and is the basis for reserving a place as a discretionary purchase. This expenditure compares with gifts, charitable giving and low level speculative investment. However the main product is expected to sell at around $300 for modest personal details, sufficient to outline a person’s life information, to be permanently tagged to the strand of hair.

We expect that lottery options from $1 will also be available.

The private archive is a commercial revenue generator and is not intended to be inclusive or representative. Nevertheless the pricing should allow anyone to participate in some way, taking into account their incomes (See for example the OECD list of income categories for international aid purposes: The project estimates that the World’s most prosperous one billion can afford $300. The next 2.5 billion can afford tens of dollars, buying digital only. The next 2.5 billion can afford one dollar, buying a lottery ticket. Lunar Mission One plans to provide a charitable facility for the one billion for whom even a dollar is too much.

For those who can afford more than $10k, a prestige package can be expected.



Management Strategy

Lunar Mission One will use Internet based direct marketing led by a global marketing brand. It will be backed for awareness by social media, news driven PR and the project’s educational public engagement. Sales will also be online, via regional franchises to allow local promotion and cultural affinity.

Targeted messages will include the direct participation in a real space mission, the ultimate time capsule, and the association with personal life events – all stimulating the imagination and driving engagement. The project will also make extensive use of competitions and auctions.

During all stages of the project, discretionary purchases will be encouraged with a $90 cash deposit to establish a place in the archive, buying a transferrable voucher for gifting. The remaining payment would come later with composed digital information and DNA after a more thoughtful contemplation.

The sales campaign needs to last almost ten years and will be phased over this time. The main campaign will start about half way through. Until then, an early campaign will target enthusiasts, about 1-2% of the final market. These pioneers buy into the idea and the plan, at risk before the main project contracts are signed. As an incentive, these enthusiasts will be invited to help set up the project. The main campaign will follow the established marketing sequence of selling the product to early adopters, then breaking into the mainstream by reinforcing the message of mass participation by demonstrating the results of the early adopter market, which will feedback into further sales. The final phase will lead to the closure of sales prior to the space launch.


Revenue Risks, Contingency Plans and Key Success Factors

As any new product venture, revenues will remain uncertain until they are achieved. As any well managed venture, Lunar Mission One is adopting a step by step approach. Each stage provides greater evidence of its underlying business case. Expenditure will be allowed to go up as risks are shown to go down.

Net of sales and marketing costs, revenues need to cover the mission costs. To be relatively safe, that is $1Bn, though $0.5Bn may be sufficient with low cost engineering and government support. Cost reduction may be possible by reducing the mission requirements, though this carries with it lesser benefits. It is clear that the project needs global participation to achieve its revenue requirement.

The project is planning to overcome a number of revenue challenges:

  • The seriousness of the idea. Hair used as a form of information recording is unusual on Earth, let alone on the Moon. Yet it anchors Lunar Mission One’s business case by combining a high personal value with a very low cost of implementation; ten million strands together have the same weight and size as a bag of flour. The project can also show itself to be part of mainstream activities, in both scientific space exploration and information archiving (see International Context), and in the educational public engagement that is derived from it all.
  • The business case for revenues. No serious space exploration project so far has been sufficiently funded by public subscriptions. Lunar Mission One goes well beyond the existing space sector, beyond interest in space, by firstly addressing an underlying personal sense of self, of our individual place in life, in our family and society, and secondly aligning with a collective interest in our planet, in its future, in humanity and our environment. These are all drivers for tapping into the far larger markets for gifting, lotteries, social media, archiving and family history.
  • Contamination. Some people worry about whether the project would pollute the Moon, even just littering it. Lunar Mission One’s environmental impact to the Moon is negligible compared to other Moon landings. The Moon is biologically inert and only has low level contamination requirements. The subject is an opportunity for learning. (See The Lunar Archives.)
  • Bioethics. Likewise, some people worry about the ethics of DNA. Lunar Mission One’s education team sees it as another opportunity for learning, and showing how the project conforms to bioethical standards. Indeed the project can support and promote the subject. (See The Lunar Archives.)
  • A bias towards Anglo-American culture. People become much more enthusiastic about a space mission if it belongs to their country. Lunar Mission One originated as a UK idea, and the take-up from its Kickstarter campaign reflected that; most backers were from the UK, even though the greatest press coverage was in the US. During the project’s three year Setup Stage, people in the US will see just how much of the implementation is likely to be led in the US, and the US take-up should increase greatly as a result. That still leaves the rest of the World. To address the more widespread sense of ownership, the project will invite scientific contributions from all nations. The public engagement is also universal, especially for compiling the public archive and through the global education program. Indeed ultimately, the project expects a formal UN adoption of the public archive. The sales themselves will also be franchised so that sales staff reflect regional cultures.

Lunar Mission One’s milestones align to its Key Success Factors for revenues:

  • Sufficient take-up from early market enthusiasts around the World during the three year Setup Stage.
  • The signing of the main contract for the space mission – “It will happen”.
  • The signing of the main contract for global sales and marketing resources – “We can sell”.
  • The parallel educational programme for awareness, and the public archive as a key component.



Revenue Prediction

Taking everything into account, and having a real space mission in development and a sales and marketing capability sufficient for the task, Lunar Mission One predicts $4.5Bn total revenues. This figure comes from the professional US/UK market research exercise based on the core $300 product of DNA plus information.

With a comprehensive view of the business, its many purchase options and globalization of revenues, the project estimates that 1% who can afford the product will buy it. This leads to (a) 10 million buying the standard DNA product at $300 (1% of the 1Bn who could afford it), and (b) 20 million buying the digital only product at say $75 (1% of the 2Bn who could afford it). Though the pricing level can vary towards the much less and the much more, the net revenue effect is not significant. The total prediction is still $4.5Bn.

At this stage the project has to allow for significant variability in the prediction, both low and high, but there is a relatively high margin for low sales before the mission itself cannot be paid for. The marketing effort would aim for higher revenues, but the business needs to provision for the risk of lower.

[There is effectively no upper sales limit placed by the space mission. The theoretical borehole capacity can take 1%-10% of the world population, depending on depth and packing density.]