UnNews:Britain considers Moon mission

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10 January 2007

Britain is considering plans for its own moon shot, the BBC said, citing plans submitted to the body that funds British space exploration, The Aldershot Institute for Space and Jam Making.

Proposals for two missions have been submitted to the Institute, and the first, if approved, could be launched by Easter or possibly one of the Bank Holidays in May.

The first potential mission, "Operation Moonie", would see four metre (yard)-long lawn darts fired two metres deep into the moon's surface from a Mk3 Ford Escort 1.6L Estate in orbit, giving scientists information about the possibility of having a right nice garden party as well as confirming that the moon won't pop if were accidentally burst.

If Moonie were successful, a second mission codenamed "Operation Go To The Moon Again" could be launched, sending a spacecraft shaped like some dogdirt to the surface of the moon in search of suitable sites for potential branches of Borders, the out-of-town style bookshop and Starbucks delivery system.

According to Professor Marvin Tuppence, founder and chief executive of Surrey Satellite Technology & Carpets Ltd., which prepared the study for the funding body, the cost of space exploration had fallen enough for Britain to afford a couple of goes.

"Current small missions to the moon cost around £300 million (almost 600 million US dollars) ... With advances in small satellites based on old saloon car chassis we could probably cut the cost to something like £80 return," Tuppence told the BBC.

Professor Tuppence has rubbished claims by France that the satellites are to be piloted by untrained Romanian immigrants.