The MoonArk was recently featured on the front page of CNN as it continues to get ready for its trip to the lunar surface next year. The MoonArk is a massive collaborative and integrated project designed by a team of CMU faculty, students and a host of international collaborators over the past 10 years. Part of a larger Moon Arts research project in the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry the MoonArk is an epochal project that blurs the boundaries between art, design, science and the humanities – a synthesis of research and practice that could only happen in a place like CMU.
Earth is giving a gift to the moon that will land on the lunar surface next year.
The nine-ounce MoonArk -- a tiny time capsule-esque artifact of humanity -- will be attached to a small lunar rover. This is in the hopes that one day it may be picked up by lunar explorers -- hundreds or thousands of years in the future.
The MoonArk was designed to capture humanity's view of Earth, the moon, the space between the two, and the greater universe. Fittingly, these complex narratives are shared through various types of art -- not unlike the way ancient humans left their mark on Earth for us to understand the past.
It's not a traditional time capsule because it's not organized chronologically and doesn't encapsulate everything a future human or other species would need to know. That would be impossible. But the MoonArk team has achieved their own kind of impossible feat over the course of 10 long, determined years. They have turned a vision into a reality that will sit on lunar soil.
MoonArk will hitch a ride with with a new lunar rover set to launch next year. Originally known as the Moon Arts Project, MoonArk was designed in response to the 2007 Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. The competition and its $30 million prize expired in 2018 when teams around the globe failed to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon.