UCL News


UCL in the News: UK Moon mission

14 February 2008

BBC News Nasa is due to give its formal backing in a report to a British-led £100m mission to the Moon.

The US space agency has described the MoonLITE mission to send a small probe to the Moon in 2013 as "inspirational".

The unmanned project involves the craft firing four-metre long darts called penetrators onto the lunar terrain. …

The report acknowledges that it would be a difficult to design and build a spacecraft ready to launch in just five years, but suggests that the challenge would get creative juices flowing and give young space scientists and engineers valuable experience.

Professor Alan Smith of the [UCL] Mullard Space Science Laboratory, which is leading proposal, said he was "very excited" at the report's description of the project.

He said "It's a great outcome at this stage. I'm very confident that there could be a British Mission to the Moon in five years' time." …

The next stage starting early this year is to hammer out the practicalities of building the spacecraft. …