If a friend told you he was going to blast a rocket to the Moon, and that if you wrote him a check he'd send your selfies along with it, you'd probably tell him to go find a job. But when a group of experienced rocket engineers made the same suggestion, you would probably pay attention.
Yesterday, a small team of engineers announced project "Moonspike," the world's first crowdfunding campaign to send a rocket to the Moon. The team, which brings together years of expertise building rockets for Copenhagen Suborbitals and NASA, already has a detailed plan: On their Kickstarter page, you'll find a 30-page technical outline of the 20-tonne, three-stage liquid fuelled rocket they hope to blast into low-Earth orbit.
From low-Earth orbit, a small spacecraft will be launched to the Moon. During its four day journey, the crafts' progress will be tracked and shared with the world through blogs and videos. Finally, it will crash land, leaving yet another mark of our technological ambition on the lunar surface for years, possibly centuries, to come.
The plan's all there in a pdf you can go and download right now. Team Moonspike just needs a little help building it -- a million dollars worth of help, to be precise. Which is actually insanely cheap, as rockets to the Moon go.
Still, what's in it for would-be Moon-investors tired of throwing their money into the yawning chasm of Kickstarter projects that never see the light of day? Well, if the project does get funded, and if the team finds a suitable launch site, and if there are no legal hitches with a plan to blast 20 tonnes of metal off the surface of the Earth and crash it into our nearest neighbour, you'll be among the small cohort of humans who made this unlikely dream come true.
But if that's not enough, and of course it isn't, there are perks. You'll be able to send your photos, videos and personal data to the Moon, in a special radiation-shielded memory vault within Moonspike's payload. A time capsule! As we know, these usually don't work out so well here on Earth, but the Moon is a different story: There's no atmosphere and no decomposition. Your selfies, pop-punk demos and unpublished lunar romances will live on ad infinitum, even in the event of a nuclear holocaust here on Earth.
Thousands of years from now, you might end up among the few human faces alien archaeologists study to learn about our extinct species. Now if that's not worth twenty bucks, I don't know what is.
Images via Moonspike