Huntingdon man selected to be part of a unique lunar mission

Darryl Cooper, from Huntingdon, Co-Lead for the UK Chapter of Lunar Mission One,

Darryl Cooper, from Huntingdon, Co-Lead for the UK Chapter of Lunar Mission One, - Credit: Archant

A space enthusiast has been chosen to be part of an extraordinary plan to land a robotic probe on the moon in 2024.

Darryl Cooper, 27, from Huntingdon, has been selected to jointly-lead the UK chapter of the Lunar Mission One project.

He said: “To help with an actual international space mission is fantastic and obviously a really rare opportunity considering I got involved through Kickstarter when buying a present.”

The lunar initiative was started on the crowd funding site Kickstarter in 2014 with the aim of raising £600,000 from public donations.

Darryl added: “The aim of the Lunar Mission One is to survey the moon’s South Pole to see if a human base can be set up there in the future. It will initially able to drill 20 metres down but the aim is it to eventually drill to 100 metres.”

Last year Darryl, who works at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, was invited to attend a workshop in Germany by the Royal Astronomical Society to learn more about the mission, and it was at the workshop that he was selected for his special role.

“I asked the organisers if I could present a poster at the event and it was there that I was asked if I would like to get involved more which I was delighted with,” he said.

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As a part of the role, Darryl will be working with schools across the country to educate students about the probe, while inspiring a new generation to become engaged in science.

“So far I have been working with schools across the country to ask them for their ideas on what they think should be put into a time capsule to record what life is like on earth.”

When the probe is launched in eight years, Darryl and his family will be a part of history after buying a time capsule to send to the moon.

“Those who have bought the time capsule will be able to photos and other memories in as well as a strand of hair so that you can have DNA on the moon.”