Lunar Mission One represented at the 12th International Planetary Probe Workshop

LM1 Founding Backer Darryl Cooper recently presented the project to the 12th International Planetary Probe Workshop in Cologne, Germany. Read his account below:


My name is Darryl Cooper and I am a Founding Backer of Lunar Mission One. I had followed the Kickstarter campaign closely and when I was awarded a grant by the Royal Astronomical Society to attend the 12th International Planetary Probe Workshop, I contacted the Lunar Mission One team and explained my desire to present a conference poster on behalf of the mission.

The workshop took place in Cologne, Germany during the 15th-19th June 2015 at the Hyatt Regency. The beautiful venue sits on the bank of the Rhine facing Cologne Cathedral. During the “Missions”session on Monday I gave a brief talk on the purpose of Lunar Mission One with a PowerPoint slide as a teaser for the main poster presentation on Wednesday evening. This talk had already began to excite attendees of the conference and had even caused a discussion as to how crowdfunding and private enterprise may be the future in space exploration.

As I presented my poster during the main presentation itself I took questions from scientists and engineers from NASA, JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), European Space Agency, Thales Alenia Space, Airbus Defence and Space, DLR (German Aerospace Centre) as well as professors and students from international universities such as Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Caltech, Stanford University, Aachen University, University of Manchester and the University of Glasgow.

There was a real buzz about the mission. I was explaining to scientists the scientific drivers behind the project, describing to engineers how the lander’s payload of instruments will drill into the Moon and develop new technologies. I also clearly excited students with the project’s plan to invest, promote and collaborate in education with schools and universities. Aerospace professionals from Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Poland, Japan, the U.S and the U.K spoke of the challenges of international co-operation with space agencies and the interference of politics and bureaucracy - they gladly welcomed Lunar Mission One’s aim to be a fully global endeavour.

I was lucky enough to discuss the passion behind Lunar Mission One with people who had worked on Philae, Rosetta, ExoMars, Venus Express, Mars Science Laboratory Rovers, the Space Shuttle and Apollo programmes. From the feedback I received, many felt that Lunar Mission One was exciting and refreshing. What resonated with them most was the way the project had brought humanity back into focus. Many told me that the concept of Digital Memory Boxes echoed Carl Sagan’s message, voiced in reference to the Voyager mission, that our world and our legacy is special – they agreed that it is important that we should take this opportunity to preserve our record forever, securely in our closest neighbor.

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