Moving upwards with Lunar Mission One

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A message from David Iron, Founder

We are today reporting recent developments in our pioneering Lunar Mission One strategy.

Lunar Mission One (LM1) is an ambitious lunar mission for everyone. At a time when space agencies were finding it increasingly difficult to meet popular and political pressures to go beyond Earth orbit, especially within the timescales and public budgets given to them, LM1 was conceived as a serious mission for scientific exploration, but with a completely new model for popular involvement.

The first phase of the Mission was based on Crowdfunding during which we gained the support and subscriptions from over 7,000 people around the world. This was exciting ingenuity. Yet as we stressed at the outset, it was always only going to begin the formative stage of the Mission and raise its profile. For subsequent phases, we need to operate on a different basis both commercially and financially.

The next stage of the project will be undertaken by the Lunar Missions Trust. Ian Taylor and Angela Lamont are rejoining the Trust. Pieter Knook is being appointed too. Sir Graeme Davies, Professor Monica Grady and I continue as Trustees. Lunar Missions Ltd remains as the legal vehicle for commercial operations.

We are concentrating on the Mission’s spacecraft and drilling technology and on its science and education programmes. We are in confidential discussions with a major space agency to investigate its potential as the principal public authority adopting LM1. Having had a series of preliminary discussions with leading international aerospace companies in the USA and Europe, we are about to issue a formal Request for Interest to initiate a programme of working discussions for the commercial leadership of the space mission.

We have confirmed with University College London (UCL) its leadership of the international science team, which now includes senior scientists in the US, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is our lead space mission technology advisor and Magnaparva is the lead drilling technology advisor. The Satellite Applications Catapult (established by the Government’s agency Innovate UK) is supporting the crowdsourcing of collaborative solutions. In addition, there are several other companies, university academics and government agencies that we have been working with and their involvement continues.

We have access to the lunar programmes of the leading space nations, and look to develop relationships with them as we set up LM1’s own main project. For example, we are looking to collaborate with the Russian programme - see article here. Likewise, via overlaps in our respective science teams, we are looking to collaborate with NASA’s Resource Prospector Mission – see

More generally, we have significant interest with several US organisations, and hope to report on that as we make progress. We will raise our profile progressively in the USA, and indeed in other major countries. We are asking distinguished members of our International Advisory Board to continue as the Mission develops.

The interest from schools is proving high, and we seek an administrative management that can organise our global pilot education programme. As part of this, we are in early discussions with international archives.

And we are encouraged by the interest of volunteers and the formation of self-managing local Chapters around the World.

We intend to continue engaging with our enthusiastic Kickstarter ‘Luminauts’ who about a year ago reserved their place in space with a Digital Memory Box (DMB). With the support of our partner, the personal information software and platform, we plan to offer to all those Kickstarter backers extra space for their digital memories with the Google Lunar X-Prize mission planned in two years by Astrobotic, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We will add digital space for our sponsoring partners and also include all the photographs uploaded through the recent Footsteps on the Moon campaign.

As and when we set up the main mission with a new marketing campaign based on the digital archive, we intend to honour the existing DMB reservations and so fulfill the rewards for backing us at such an early stage. Meanwhile, the Trust may start to receive charitable donations in response to several enquiries.

The challenges we face in planning a Mission such as this are considerable. We have been enthused by the wide range of support and encouragement received to date. This is an extraordinary project and we are innovating on a grand scale. We can only do that with a step-by-step approach. The Trustees ask for your continuing support and enthusiasm.

We will update our website with the latest news of progress.

David Iron
4th November 2015

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