UK researchers set out goals for Lunar Mission One
Scientists have set out the scientific goals of a proposed UK-led mission to the Moon. Its principal aim is to survey the Lunar South pole to learn more about the geology of the Moon and see if a human base can be set up. It will also drill 100 metres below the surface and assess whether it is feasible to have observatories on the far side of the Moon.
Details of the Lunar Mission One programme were announced last month.Its backers hope to raise the bulk of the £500m needed for the project from public donations. In return, donors will be able to send messages, pictures and even hair samples which will be buried under the lunar surface.
However its organisers say that the mission also has a serious scientific purpose. Although there have been more than 50 expeditions to the Moon including six landings by Apollo astronauts there is still much to learn, according to Prof Ian Crawford, who is one of Lunar Mission One's principle scientific advisers.
"Until recently the European Space Agency had plans for a a lunar lander (which has since been scrapped) and the science case for Lunar Mission One is quite similar," he told BBC News. "In addition, we propose to have a drill so there will be new science too".
Lunar Mission One