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article imageWant to send something to the moon? Use MoonMail!

By Sravanth Verma     Dec 14, 2014 in Technology
Private spaceflight company Astrobotic has launched a new service, MoonMail, that allows people to send an item of theirs to the moon's surface.
Astrobotic is competing in the Google Lunar X Prize, a $30 million USD competition that requires competitors to send a craft to the moon, travel 500 meters on the lunar surface and beam back various images and other data. MoonMail allows you to send an item of yours, placed in a small capsule in Astrobiotic's spacecraft, to the lunar surface. The company plans to launch in the next couple of years. "This is your unique opportunity to commemorate your graduation, holiday, wedding, child's birth, or loved one's memory with a lasting symbol we will carry on our lunar lander. Life's most meaningful moments can be forever linked with the Moon in the night sky," says the company's webpage.
"Today marks the beginning of a new kind of participant on the moon: the individual," Astrobotic CEO John Thornton said at a press call. "MoonMail is a new offering allowing anyone in the world to purchase space on our lander and immortalize their important keepsake on the moon forever."
The cost of the smallest container, which is half an inch across is $460, and a 0.75 inch container costs $820. A 1-inch container will set you back $1,660. There is also a chance to win a free capsule through an Astrobotic contest. People can submit their ideas of what they want to send to the moon by December 23, and the winner will be allocated a free capsule for his or her gift.
Astrobotic plans to land somewhere near Lacus Mortis, a region of the moon with cave formations, and will carry hundreds of the capsules when and if it does so.
"Astrobotic's MoonMail continues the recent and growing trend of commercial opportunities inviting not just governments, companies and organizations to take part in spaceflight, but individuals, too," said Robert Pearlman, editor of collectSPACE.com, a leading resource for space history enthusiasts and a SPACE.com media partner. "From taking 'space selfies' to flying names, DNA and now mementos, these projects point to a future where space exploration is an activity involving the masses."
There is plenty of "Earthling" stuff already on the moon of course. It has been over 40years since the last human set foot on the moon, but we have left 400,000 pounds of debris such as spacecraft wreckage, shovels, golf balls, TV cameras, 12 pairs of boots, and urine!
More about google lunar x, Moon, astrobiotic
 
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