Spaceflight Insider

Kickstarter-funded rocket “Moonspike” going to the Moon

Moonspike rocket in orbit above earth Kickstarter campaign-funded rocket Moonspike image posted on SpaceFlight Insider - Copy

Image Credit: Moonspike

Moonspike today launched its bid to land the first crowd-funded rocket on the Moon. The Kickstarter project launched today at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time (12:00 noon BST) with the aim of raising $1 million within 30 days.

Moonspike is a team of independent rocket engineers, who have both professional training and several years of hands-on experience building large rockets with NASA and the successful non-profit Copenhagen Suborbitals project. The co-founders of the Moonspike mission are Kristian von Bengtson, co-founder of Copenhagen Suborbitals, where he was the lead spacecraft designer and flight director, and entrepreneur Chris Larmour.

The project is focused on the design and construction of a 22-ton, three-stage liquid-fueled Moon rocket. It will be sent into low-Earth orbit carrying a small spacecraft. The spacecraft will then be boosted towards the Moon, and tracked until it reaches the Moon’s position four days later. The founding project team has already created a preliminary design for the rocket and a detailed feasibility study document is available to download on the Moonspike website.

The mission founders aim to bring everyone along for the ride and give the world its first taste of open-access space flight. There will be a level of transparency that hasn’t been experienced with any other space program. Kickstarter backers who support Moonspike will have complete access to the team of rocket engineers through blogs, video-chats, and interviews. The backers will be able to ask the team questions, come up with suggestions and provide general feedback. Anyone with a few spare dollars, pounds, euros, or renminbi can join Moonspike’s extended team.

Every Kickstarter backer will have the opportunity to send their images, videos, or data to the Moon in special radiation-shielded memory vault within the Moonspike payload. Other rewards available include VIP trips to the factory, replica rocket engines, and behind-the-scenes access during tests and launches. Some backers will have their name or logo on the rocket vehicle, or their name engraved on the spacecraft. Senior patrons will be offered specially created business cards. And there will be plenty of other rewards like memorial coins, mission patches, HD posters, and models of the rocket and the spacecraft.

Chief Technical Officer and co-founder Kristian von Bengtson commented: “Very few people have hands-on experience of building and successfully launching large-scale rocket vehicles. Our team of rocket engineers already has the expertise to build large rockets from our shared experience at the Copenhagen Suborbitals project. And now we’re taking it to the next level. We believe that with a reasonable amount of funding we can build a reliable, effective launch vehicle and spacecraft, and take a shot at the Moon.”

Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Chris Larmour commented: “We’re doing this for the adventure, and we want everyone to be a part of it. With Moonspike, there will be a transparency that hasn’t been experienced in any space mission until now. We would like everyone that wants to be involved in a real-life space mission to pledge their support, and literally and figuratively, help us get this project off the ground.”


North American inquiries: Jenna Becker

+1 (415) 996-0384


Europe, Middle East & Africa inquiries: Chevaan Seresinhe

+44 20 3751 0330


The preceding is a press or news release either issued by one of the space agencies or by an aerospace firm or organization. The views expressed in the above post do not necessarily reflect those of SpaceFlight Insider.

Reader Comments

Your space craft boosted to the moon does not have landing gear in the design shown on the video at kickstarter. One might think you were using a rocket to chuck a time capsule on the moon.-Ernie Moore Jr.

The spike would not stick in the moon The moon is moving and it is moving you’ve thrusters but the real time capability to dart-hit -the-board-and-stick?-Ernie Moore Jr.

The payload you say allows you to carry terabytes of data at the weight of one gram? Amazon has an eight gigabyte memory storage vault at over 200 grams. Potentially thirty five gigabytes of data from ninety backers…What’s the foundation of one gram holds terabytes of which you speak.-Ernie Moore Jr

I wonder about engraving upwards of seventy (70) names affecting the integrity of the tanks of the spacecraft or what size legible writing.print the engravings will be at upwards of seventy backer names.-Ernie Moore Jr.

One might wonder how the logos would be applied to not fall off. I wonder if the addition of sixty logos and ten double sized would be significant weight or mass not considered in your download mission overview.-Ernie Moore Jr.

Possible typo-Kickstarter section called Focus: paragraph 3, line two word one is money. But after that wordmight be missing the word “in.” To say “money in the course” instead of “money the course.” -Ernie Moore Jr.

(10) Early Bird Limited…seems to have the same rewards and none different from the next tier–(20) Voyager 250.-Ernie Moore Jr.

Big Corporate tier is at the same price point as Mission Control Founder VIP and Rocket Test Founder VIP–4,999 ($7576 US(D)).-Ernie Moore Jr.

Big Corporate tier shows as engraving a logo on the non rocket stage-spacecraft part, yet makes no offer to engrave name on spacecraft (as in earlier tiers). One might wonder if, “engraved name” ended-up, “engraved logo.”-Ernie Moore Jr.

There is software to calculate celestial body positions relevant to another position. If your kickstart is successful…add the time to receive the funds. Add the time to access the funds. Add the time to acquire parts-do tasks upon which you build. Each completed build/acquisition is dateable. Do this through to scheduling for a launch date (coordinated with initial/expected confirmed launch site locale and best moonshot four days thence). You now have a basis for a window (28 days adjust each window miss).-Ernie Moore Jr.

This business plan equivalent –refined-time line based project plan, might remove some of the floundering and lolly-gag that can find it’s way into a project.-Ernie Moore Jr.

It’s leaving stuff on the Moon. If it’s the start of something to be done you begin our demise sped-up in that changing the mass of the moon at a rate not in sync with the other cosmic bodies can aid in a more rapid obit degradation one might think.-Ernie Moore Jr.

Perhaps an observational craft boosted from the rocket. What happens to the stages of the two stage rocket (I’ve seen two I’ve seen three). Where do the logos fall or get seen after your success.-Ernie Moore Jr.

9.81 metres per second squared seems to be an Earth based thing at one atmosphere…seemingly inapplicable for part of a moonshot. But it seems the major change formula you’re thinking you’ve got.-Ernie Moore Jr.

its tera bites ernie

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