By sizemore Last edited 146 months ago

Well folks, we're going to the moon. And stage one sounds so naff it just has to be British:

Britain could soon be going to the moon under plans submitted to the body which funds UK space exploration. A study conducted for the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council outlines bold proposals for two all-British moon missions, said the BBC. The first, named Moonlight, could be launched by 2010 and would see four suitcase-sized darts fired onto the moon's surface from an orbiting probe.

Suitcase sized darts? Since when has a suitcase been a recognised point of reference? Do they mean carry-on luggage or one of those big Samsonite buggers that always crush our backpacks on the airport carousel? And Moonlight? What kind of a name for a lunar mission is that? Is the thing sponsored by Terry's chocolates?

If successful, the mission would be followed by another called Moonraker. This would land a spacecraft on the lunar surface and search for suitable sites for future manned bases.

That's more like it. Roger Moore and Dr Goodhead floating about with Jaws... that's a moon mission!

More importantly this would be the first go-it-alone mission - no interfering from NASA or ESA about our choice of safari-suit - which means any cheese, gold or Clangers we find we get to keep.

Last Updated 10 January 2007