A non-profit project by the name of OpenLuna Foundation has set upon themselves a lofty goal: they want to put mankind back on the moon using entirely open source technologies and private funding.
All aspects of the mission plan and hardware will be open source. This information will be publicly available and community support and involvement will be actively pursued and welcomed. Special efforts will be made to involve students, educational facilities, and amateur space enthusiasts.
The project has drawn up a mission plan consisting of 5 trips to the moon. The OpenLuna Foundation aims to begin with robotic missions, followed by manned exploration, and ultimately build a $500 million eight person permanent outpost on the moon. The gist of their mission is this:
- Land near the south pole to investigate the existence of water, He-3 and a good location for a future shelter and outpost.
- Collect 50kg to 100kg of rock sample. The rocks retrieved from the missions will be auctioned off and profits from this will proceed to fund the next mission.
- Place at least one communications satellite in orbit.
- Launch up to five astronauts to build the outpost, and if feasible and safe, leave a volunteer on the surface.
- Offer the outpost for use to organization such as NASA, ESA, JAXA, other space agencies, and private individuals and organizations.
OpenLuna is looking for volunteers in various discipline to work on the project. Curiously enough, all I see are Blender artist, writer, producer, tailors(??) and lawyers. I thought we needed engineers to build a spacecraft.
But the funniest sight on the site is the Paypal donation button. Paypal? Who raises money for a project as huge as a moon mission through Paypal donations? Donations are barely enough to keep the servers running.
Either for genuine interest or for laughs, you can read more about this outrageously insane idea on their wiki and resource page.
[via O’Reilly Radar]