Kickstarter-funded rocket “Moonspike” going to the Moon
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
Europe, Middle East & Africa inquiries: Chevaan Seresinhe
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