Posted: Thu, Nov 20, 2014, 8:18 AM ET (1318 GMT)
A British company announced plans Wednesday to raise nearly $1 million through a crowdfunding campaign in the next month in the first phase of a billion-dollar effort to land a spacecraft at the Moon's south pole. Lunar Missions Ltd. is seeking to raise 600,000 pounds (US$940,000) through the site Kickstarter in a month to fund studies of its Lunar Mission One concept. That mission would send a robotic spacecraft to the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the Moon. The spacecraft would be equipped with a drill to collect rock samples from a depth of at least 20 meters, and up to 100 meters, for scientific analysis. The mission will also feature a "time capsule" that will be buried in the drill hole; customers can place a message, or even a DNA sample, in the capsule for a fee. The company plans to raise most of the estimated billion dollars needed for the mission over the next decade from the public.