Millions of people around the world are to be offered the chance of immortality on the moon.
It is hoped the multi-million euro plan will raise funding for an ambitious private moon mission in 10 years.
For less than €80 people will be invited to buy space on memory discs to be buried in a bore hole drilled into the lunar surface. Four billion-year-old material extracted from the hole — which could be up to 300ft deep — will be made available to science.
British engineer and city financier David Iron, who came up with the plan, entitled Lunar Mission One, said: “People can put any information they like in the memory disc; it will be like a personal time capsule, a private archive. It could be a small message saying ‘hi, I’m Joe’ or a whole family history.
“We have carried out research and been quite surprised how keen people are. School kids think the idea of having a bit of themselves on the moon is fantastic,” said Iron.
He added: “Governments are finding it increasingly difficult to fund space exploration that is solely for the advancement of human knowledge and understanding as opposed to commercial return.
“The world-class team of advisers and supporters we have assembled will address this issue and crucially anyone from around the world can get involved for as little as a few pounds.”
Under the scheme there will be hundreds of discs, each one about two inches in diameter. People helping to fund the mission will be promised a small part of a disc on which to load information.
An initial development phase has been launched via the US crowdfunding platform Kickstarter which raises cash for creative projects. Individuals making pledges through Kickstarter will become lifetime members of the Lunar Missions Club and given access to information and experiences related to the mission.
The plan is to land on the lunar south pole, a favoured spot for future moon bases because it receives constant sunshine.
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