Africa eyes its own mission to the moon

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The Foundation for Space Development is looking to make history by launching the very first African mission to the moon.

The Cape Town-based foundation’s #Africa2Moon project’s aim is to land a probe on the moon that will transmit footage from its surface that will be beamed back to earth and into the classrooms of various schools around the continent and (hopefully) “inspire the youth of Africa to believe that they can reach for the moon through education and science”.

“At #Africa2Moon, we believe that the idea of going to the Moon can already start inspiring children and adults in Africa, and that inspiration will lead to many wanting to know more,” says Jonathan Weltman, CEO of the Foundation for Space Development. “Hopefully they will follow up the inspiration the mission can provide, with a formal education. That can happen today, we don’t have to wait years for it.”

A number of scientific experiments will also be carried out that will contribute to humankind’s knowledge of the moon and form part of Africa’s global space exploration activities, the Foundation for Space Development says.

To help make #Africa2Moon a success, the  Foundation for Space Development has partnered with the University of Cape Town’s SpaceLab, the South African Space Association, Women in Aerospace, the Cape Town Science Centre, the Space Commercial Services Group and the Space Advisory Company and the Space Engineering Academy, among others.

The foundation wants to raise a minimum of R1.5 million on Indiegogo and CauseVox for the #Africa2Moon project’s first phase which will comprise the development of the mission concept and associated feasibility study that is planned to be carried out from January to November 2015.

The date for the actual mission has not yet been set, but there is a little trailer video up on YouTube.

[Source – Mail and Guardian, Image – CC 2.0 /Wikimedia Commons]



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