Odyssey Moon to Carry British Payload to Moon



Education has taken ‘the next great leap’ in Britain as Odyssey Moon announces its fifth payload to the Moon.

Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon Limited today is announcing its partnership with the International Space School Education Trust (ISSET) and their customer Moonlink Ltd. of Yorkshire to put a British science instrument on the Moon.

Moonlink has signed up with the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET) to set aside one kilogram of payload capacity on Odyssey Moon’s “MoonOne” lunar lander, to be launched to the Moon in late 2012. Moonlink will be heading up a county wide competition driving innovation in schools, universities, and local industry in the form of a competition to design, build, and fly an experiment to the Moon.

Chris Barber, director of ISSET, said: “It is a world-class opportunity to discover the unfound genius of Yorkshire. Also, importantly, the building of a lunar experiment in Yorkshire will increase jobs, together with research and development capabilities in the region.”

The competition will be open to students from UK universities, colleges and high schools, with individual entries also invited from the public. Full-details regarding participation in the competition will be announced after summer.

Gary Fawcett, chief executive of Link Telecom, one of the UK’s leading private sector sponsors of education-related initiatives, has been appointed Managing Director of Moonlink. “The project will put Yorkshire at the forefront of technological discovery in the UK and help increase both the prestige and confidence of the region,” he said. “It will provide spin-off technologies and business opportunities, raise the county’s technological and innovative profile, boost the self-esteem of the region and help create new employment opportunities.”

Fawcett and Barber also aim to leverage the mission to increase research capabilities among Yorkshire universities and intensify student and pupil interest in STEM partnerships – a series of regional hubs that provide up-to-date information, support and advice to schools about quality science technology engineering and mathematics activities that enhance and enrich the curriculum.

“Yorkshire is literally now leading the world in innovation,” said Odyssey Moon chairman Dr. Ramin Khadem. “We are thrilled to have ISSET and Moonlink onboard.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students and an inspiration to all of us,” said Odyssey Moon CEO, Dr. Robert Richards. “Seeing a program like this makes me wish I was back at school as a student again. I hope this educational competition model catches on worldwide.”