In perhaps one of the most bizarre social experiments we’ve ever seen, Lunar Mission One has just put out a call to humanity for photographs of peoples feet which they can put on a hard drive, install on a Spaceship and send to the Moon in 2017.
This is not a joke.
The idea seems to genuinely come from a good place with well paved intentions: footprints. Unlike their previous efforts at colonizing Space with human mementos, this opportunity will be completely free. Their mini manifesto says it all really:
The “Footsteps on the Moon” campaign aims to encourage people all over the world to come and “stand” on the Moon together by uploading a photo of their footprints, feet or shoes to be digitized and sent to the Moon in 2017 for free.
So far the campaign has received about three dozen pairs of feet, shoes, footprints and socks. The Twitter team are pushing the idea hard to their 5000 followers so it’ll be interesting to watch the images roll in, not that I’m into feet or anything.
There have been other efforts to send our selfies into Space, most notably ARKYD whose long running Kickstarter planned to take photos of selfies in Space for the arbitrary sum of $25. A slightly more metaphysical attempt at selfies from Space was the successful Wave at Saturn campaign by NASA, in which the world’s population all looked towards Saturn at the same time the spacecarft Cassini took a photo of Earth. I don’t think you could make out any faces though.
Then of course there is the famous family photograph left on the Moon by one of the few astronauts that visited it in the past. Despite the wonderful poetic nature of Charlie Duke’s stunt the photo paper the image was on will by now be bleached white from the Sun’s radiation. Unlike Lunar Mission One though, this was a physical picture, not just a collection of 0s and 1s on a chip.
The question could also be asked if these photographs on the hard drive will out survive humanity? Trevor Paglen has already given this notion a lot of thought with his project ‘The Last Pictures’ which saw a collection of 100 timeless Earth images sent out into Space on the communications satellite EchoStar XVI which will stay in geosynchronus orbit for at least a billion years. Woah.
Despite the obvious ease in which jokes can be made about sending photographs of our tootsies on a Space mission, we’re thrilled to see another way we can get our personal effects into the cosmos. Footprint, sock or welly, we’ll be giving it a go and we encourage you to too!