The Pocket Spacecraft project aims to open lunar exploration to the public by offering thin-film, sensor-packed "scouts" for sale that will eventually travel to the moon and send back data to their owners.
Pocket Spacecraft is, according to their Kickstarter site, a group of scientists, engineers and designers planning to “kick start the personal interplanetary space age” by offering, for a base price of £199 (about US$300), a thin-film, sensor-loaded device that will, along with thousands of others, hitch a ride to the moon on a specially designed CubeSat “mothership.” Once there, it will transmit data back to its owner via a smartphone app. Explorers with more money to spend can customize the device even further, building into it their own software to work with the device’s hardware.
Subscribe for counterintuitive, surprising, and impactful stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday
What’s the Big Idea?
The project is one of the latest in a long line of attempts to bring average people closer to a realm traditionally occupied by highly-trained scientists and astronauts. The Kickstarter site states that the team behind this effort has “created more than twenty open space projects since 2009 building the elements we need for this mission, with contributions from more than a hundred volunteers in twenty countries (and counting)…In short, we’re serious.” They hope to raise £199,000 (about $440,000) by the end of August in order to fund the building of the CubeSat spacecraft, among other tasks.