“We’re making the moon accessible to everyone.” DHL, renowned for its European delivery services, has expanded its reach beyond Earth’s borders, facilitating the transport of diverse artifacts, including a Mount Everest rock, a Belgian time capsule, a Reddit “meme” coin, and a heartfelt letter from a private astronaut. Notably, this lunar delivery initiative is not orchestrated by NASA but by the American-founded German logistics company, signaling a new era in lunar exploration.
On January 8, the inaugural DHL MoonBox embarked on its historic journey to the Gruithuisen Domes in the Sinus Viscositatis, courtesy of Astrobotic’s Peregrine probe and United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket. The DHL MoonBox, an integral part of Astrobotic’s lunar cargo transport vision, aligns with the broader mission of democratizing access to the moon, allowing individuals to preserve their memories on the lunar surface.
In a poignant moment, Richard Garriott, son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, shared his intention to send a letter as a time capsule, paying tribute to his late father and dedicating it to his children. This collaboration between DHL and Astrobotic, epitomized by the MoonBox, represents a significant stride toward inclusivity in lunar exploration.
The Peregrine Mission One (PM1) DHL MoonBox houses over 150 mementos, each encapsulated within a MoonPod. Belgium, a first-time lunar explorer, contributes a nickel wafer micro-etched with Nanofiche technology, creating the world’s smallest time capsule according to the “Belgium2theMoon” project. Other notable items include Dogecoin’s physical coin, a Kennywood Amusement Park token symbolizing Pittsburgh, and a rock from Mount Everest inspired by NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski’s historic ascent.
DHL, leveraging its expertise, collected 100,000 images for lunar delivery through its “Who do you love to the moon and back?” campaign. Astrobotic, with DHL’s logistical support, manages material and supply deliveries for the lunar lander and the MoonBox service.
For those eager to participate, Astrobotic is now accepting reservations for the next DHL MoonBox, offering a platform for inert items of varying sizes. Prices range from $460 to $25,800. Each MoonPod is assigned a DHL MoonBox serial number, ensuring customers receive proactive updates throughout the mission. As the DHL MoonBox service establishes itself, the tracking system may undergo refinements for future lunar endeavors.