Is the Solar Roadway project that's been garnering a ton of attention as of late not quite quixotic enough for your tastes?
Well then, perhaps you’d rather throw your crowdfunding cash behind Moonhouse, Swedish artist and underwater hotel room guru Mikael Genberg’s plot to send a quaint little cottage complete with traditional Swedish white fascia and red paint job to that barren orb in the sky otherwise known as the moon.
So how’s it getting there? The teeny-tiny (about 6.5-by-10 feet!) lunar love shack will hitch a ride with Tesla Motors honcho Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket when it launches on Oct. 25, 2015. That is, of course, if Genberg and co. reach a bonkers crowdfunding goal of $15,360,000 ($5 million to build the house, $10 million for a one-way ticket to the moon, and $360,000 for who knows what). As of now, the project just has a wee bit more (read: still over $15.36 million) to raise.
As Designboom explains, once deposited on the craggy surface of the moon after a four-day journey, the carbon-framed, “specially developed space cloth”-clad abode — really, it’s more of a robotic sculpture than anything — will unfold from its compact "travel size" and self-assemble in 5 to 15 minutes when filled with gas. The whole shebang, capable of accommodating one person, weighs a mere 22 pounds (a little under 4 pounds when installed on the lunar surface). The structure itself, first conceived by Genberg over a decade ago but shelved due to the shakey economy, is designed by Pittsburgh-based space robotics firm, Astrobatic. No word if IKEA will be doing the interiors.
Reads the Moonhouse website:
The Moonhouse seeks to inspire people to push through our mental boundaries and change the perception of what is possible. Everyone in the world has their own personal Moonhouse — a representation of challenges and goals and how we achieve them. Historically, space has belonged to an exclusive few. The Moonhouse is a democratic art project in space where everyone is welcome to participate and help create a unique symbol for what people together can achieve. The Moonhouse allows space to become more accessible to everyone in bringing man closer to the Moon.
Naturally, there are perks involved with backing the Moonhouse crowdfunding project, which, by the way, is being launched, somewhat randomly, in partnership with Swedish housepaint company Falu Rödfärg. Contributions are measured in “Moon Meters” with each dollar pledged moving the house 25 meters closer to the moon. For instance, $50 will get your name engraved on the inside of the actual Moonhouse while $175 will get you a digital download of a printable Moonhouse poster. A contribution of $10,000 won’t get you a slumber party in the Moonhouse with two of your besties (obviously). However, you will be rewarded with a sleepover at Genberg’s house — a little red cottage, of course — in Västerås, Sweden. Transportation to and from the lovely lakeside city of Västerås, which for some backers might as well be the moon, is not included.
Related stories on MNN: Mother Nature's Pop Science Guide to the Moon