This should be interesting. And if they should bring back a piece of regolith from the south polar region what do I hear it will sell for? Could we have an auction please. Who will be the highest bidder?
Any proto protozoa in those dark craters?
- LRK -
British scientists and engineers want a piece of the Moon.
3 November 2011 Last updated at 14:43 ET
They're keen to participate in the European Space Agency's (Esa) Lunar Lander mission which will attempt to put down on the body's southern pole later this decade.
The lander will be unmanned but it will do the kind of experiments that would help prepare for a human mission at some future date - checking the local environment for hazards and looking for possible resources in the regolith, or "soil".
Esa will soon ask member states to declare their interest in the project, and the UK will have to decide if it wants to take part and, if so, the level of financial investment it is prepared to make.
The British lunar science community and industry recently held a meeting in London to mould their position.
They know they will have to make a strong case to the UK Space Agency (UKSA), which represents Britain at Esa.
The UKSA will have a limited pot of cash to put on the table in Europe, and other interests and activities will be competing for a share.
"We're going through a process where we're allowing all the different communities to make their cases for the programmes they want to be involved in," explained Dr Sue Horne from the UKSA.
"Through December, we'll be assessing those so that over the course of the following months, we can have some hard negotiation with Esa with clear ideas of what we want," she told me.
The Lunar Lander project will be led by Germany and is expected to cost somewhere in the region of 600-700 million euros.
Hmmm, only 600- 700 million euros.
No cold war here, just a bidding war.
I wonder who has the money?
- LRK -
Who gets the movie rights and the marketing rights for kids lunar lander toys?
How about some chemistry sets to identify soil samples so you can prepare the youngster for a job analyzing lunar samples.
Maybe an erector set that will let you build miniature digging machines that have some smart brains to teach you how to prepare a lunar lava tube for habitation. Throw in some smart avatars that will do your bidding from your latest smart phone App.
- LRK -