The Educational Prospects

Lunar Mission One is a unique venture with the potential to promote knowledge and inspire learners of all ages the world over.

While the project is at the very beginning of exploring the educational opportunities of it, we are hugely excited at the potential this project has to inspire a new generation about space, science, engineering and technology.

Unusually for a space project, we can also include the arts and humanities through the development of the human civilisation part of the public archive. The range of subjects that can benefit from Lunar Mission One is boundless.

Our aim is to develop a large scale international programme of engagement with schools and colleges. It will sit alongside our more general public engagement that allows anyone to participate in the project’s development.

We want students to play a major role in leading the education programme, working with others (students and adults) both within and beyond schools and colleges. It will also encourage new ways of thinking about issues, and greater awareness of the value of creative yet rigorous, critical thinking. It will promote team project work, both within the classroom and remotely, for example through international links between schools and colleges.

  • Some provisional examples of questions and topics for students Open or Close

    Here are some provisional examples of questions and topics that students might explore, at many levels:

    • How do you design a public archive capsule for space travel to the Moon? The capsule will be exposed to a hostile environment on its journey – how can we ensure that the archive is protected, and when placed down the borehole, will survive for millions and millions of years?
    • Where is the best place on the Moon for the spacecraft to land?
    • In the public archive, what should we say about who we are, and how we live? How should we represent the history of the World? How do we include the differences between societies, the differences in politics and conflicts, the differences in economic and political power?
    • How should we represent biological life and its environment on Earth? What information should be stored? How can we show the dependencies between species? Can we prioritise what is recorded?
    • What languages or codes should be used in the archive?
    • What can we learn today, simply by creating the public archive?
    • What is DNA? How stable is it? What factors help it to survive undamaged for as long as possible?
    • What are the economics of the mission? Are space missions increasingly moving from the public to the private sphere and if so why?
    • Do we have the right to use the Moon in this way? Should the Moon instead be preserved as a complete wilderness?
    • How does the mission compare to historical examples of colonisation?
    • What implications does the mission have for religion, ethics and philosophy?

Our Education Team has started a pilot programme to trial ways of encouraging children and young people to create their own content and share it with their contemporaries worldwide. Some trialling has already taken place in pilot schools and colleges in the UK and France, from primary, through secondary and undergraduate, to postgraduate. The results are good and we are using their experiences to inform the programme we develop.

For example, one primary school used the project to engage 5 to 12 year olds in learning about space, the solar system, the history of lunar exploration, space travel and rocket design. Teenage secondary school pupils have undertaken projects investigating aspects that appealed to them individually, and in the process covered a range of subjects – physics, chemistry, biology, languages, IT, economics and politics. An undergraduate constructed a mathematical model for predicting the effects of an asteroid strike, and a group of postgraduate students developed a technical proposal for a precursor orbiting cubesat mission to explore lunar landing sites.

We plan to extend the scope of pilots around the World, so that we can test educational ideas across all cultures, abilities, ages and of course subjects. In this way we can provide feedback to the education team before we launch the major programme around the world and so fulfill the project’s potential for inclusivity and scale.

If you work at an education institution and would like to contribute to the project’s education programme, or want to monitor its progress, please contact us.