1. Goal

The goal is to deliver one or more cameras to surface of the Moon and provide views of the Earth to the public at large and to the scientific community. It is looking for ways to maximize the scientific return of the mission by engaging the scientific community. By recreating the Overview Effect, it aims to engage the general public with the mission and activities of the MVA and its members.

Scientific use of the camera(s) is related to exoplanet and earth observation research. Lunar science should also be possible.

Project Manager: Liza Koumi
Deputy Project Manager: Marco Crescenzi

Please see the Payload Project presentation here.

2. Definition

The project is looking to secure all the elements usually present in a space mission.

We are aiming to have the major elements like camera(s) and lunar lander(s) as contribution in kind.

The block diagram below describes this in more detail:

The project team has been created through the MVA membership ranks. Discussion options for securing a Lander and Camera are ongoing. Mission parameters depend on those choices: The landing site, communication systems etc depend on the selected lander, with views of the Earth being our main requirement.

The images are intended for the public, with live streaming of video being the most desirable option. However, MVA want to educate, motivate and involve. MVA wants to engage children and young adults and help raise the next generation of Moon Explorers!

While sending a camera to the Moon is central to the project, using data from collaborating organizations that are not carrying MVA payload but are going to the Moon is the so-called “Precursor Mission”. This will allow MVA to start the engagement of the public earlier, validate our processes and partially achieve our mission objectives!

Last but not least, images of the Earth are great, but once the camera is placed, on the Moon the data can be used to the benefit of scientific research and society in general.

3. The process: Lower the barrier to entry in the Lunar Economy

The project wants to find ways that MVA members can collaboratively harness their resources and pursue their own business and personal goals through their membership in the MVA and participation in its projects. The Project is trying to find synergies between offers and needs that when matched, can put together a mission that benefits all involved. This deviates from the usual client-supplier model of putting together space missions, and looks more like putting together the puzzle pieces of capability and member business requirements:

Extract from the mission statement:

“The 1st MVA Payload Project will serve to test the waters and establish a standard methodology for future operations on the lunar surface, through opportunities of collaboration between its members all over the world. The first mission has been selected to be one or more cameras on one or more landers. The project aims to encourage the MVA members to engage and create this methodology, through which they can achieve their own business/scientific goals in future missions, having the output of this work serve as a library of knowledge. The MVA will function as the network that connects actors to fill identified gaps. The camera was selected with one more goal: to use the “Overview Effect”, recreated by the payload in order to involve the general public, and display to them the capabilities it envisions to help its members build. Ultimately, all people will be able to use the methodology, knowledge, data and heritage acquired through the mission to develop the lunar economy.”

Status: recent and current activities

This section will be updated regularly to show the top activities currently at the forefront.

The Project has conducted a pre-phase A review last year and has started the phase A early in 2020. The aim of the project is to have the first camera on the Moon by 2022/23.
Contacts have been established with possible Lunar Lander carriers from industry and governments as well as possible camera(s) provider from industry and university.

Technical Details will be provided in May 2020.

Hereafter some information of relevant activities:

Outreach Activity 1

In collaboration with our institutional partner Office of Other Spaces, the MVA Public Forum mini event took place in Melbourne in the end of February 2020. The event had an amazing panel and generated a lot of follow-up interest!

The event was published in local newspapers and blogs, and post-event multiple podcasts were released with audio from it. Space Junk Podcast run by the event moderator, Annie Handmer has audio from it. Please take a listen and enjoy!

Outreach Activity 2

The Project had the first outreach activity with school children! A bit before the mini event, Annie Handmer and the team member Maddy Bandurski went to a grade 6 class in a Melbourn school and presented the project, and the children shared some invaluable perspectives.

This activity gave substance to the discussion that followed at the mini-event and Annie created podcasts to keep that discussion going and create more visibility for the project on social media. The kids were great and it’s given us plenty to think about for an outreach model for this project.

The podcast of the kids can be heard here. Please listen and enjoy!