I dreamed of going to the Moon and one day it was possible. I'm sharing that dream with many of the artists, authors, musicians, and filmmakers whose work I love.
Welcome, my name is Samuel Peralta. The Lunar Codex is that dream realized, a collection of works from tens of thousands of creative artists across the globe, launched in time capsules to the Moon.
The U.S.'s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a plan, the Artemis Program, to land humans back on the Moon in 2026, for the first time in over 50 years.
In parallel with the Artemis program, NASA will send scientific instruments to the Moon, over 2023 to 2026, via Commercial Lunar Payload Service (CLPS) partners, such as Astrobotic Technologies and Intuitive Machines. Their lunar landers will launch as payloads of commercial rocket platforms by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) or SpaceX.
Along with NASA instruments, these missions will carry commercial payloads, including the time capsules that make up The Lunar Codex.
In 2022, on November 16, the Orion spacecraft launched on NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), to orbit the Moon and return to Earth on December 11, in the first of NASA's Artemis missions.
For NASA's moon landings, and for the Lunar Codex, this was a prelude: Along with other payloads, Orion carries a flash drive that includes "Three Faces of the Moon" - a series of poems which will be archived on the surface in a 2024 mission by the Lunar Codex.
The Lunar Codex will be the first significant placement of contemporary arts on the Moon in over fifty years. While focused on visual art, the Lunar Codex also includes a substantial collection of contemporary books, stories, poetry, essays, music, films, and more.
"The Orion Collection" is our payload associated with NASA's first Artemis mission, orbiting the Moon and returning to Earth.
"The Peregrine Collection" is our payload associated with Astrobotic's Peregrine mission, landing in the vicinity of Oceanus Procellarum, near the Gruithuisen Domes, on the Moon.
"The Nova Collection" is our payload associated with the Intuitive Machines Nova-C mission, landing in the region of the Lunar South Pole.
"The Polaris Collection" is our payload associated with an Astrobotic Griffin/NASA VIPER mission, targeting the Nobile Crater, in the vicinity of the Lunar South Pole.
As an arts and culture project, the Lunar Codex has been called the most expansive, international, and diverse collection of contemporary culture launched to the Moon.
Some have called the Lunar Codex a "time machine to the future." Others have called it the "ultimate anthology," and referred to it as a "museum on the Moon."
Significantly, it is the first project to launch the works of women artists to the lunar surface. It includes numerous other firsts, including being the first project, to our knowledge, to place contemporary film and music on the Moon.
The Lunar Codex represents creative work from Canada, the U.S., India, China, Australia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and indeed from 156 countries and territories from Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Oceania, Asia and the Middle East - and from outposts in the continent of Antarctica - firsts on the Moon for many of these countries.
At its essence, the Lunar Codex is a set of time capsules, a message-in-a-bottle to future generations.
"Our hope is that future travelers who find these time capsules will discover some of the richness of our world today... It speaks to the idea that, despite wars and pandemics and climate upheaval, humankind found time to dream, time to create art.”
- Samuel Peralta
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