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A STORY

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MOON LANDINGS

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.

We started with poetry on a single launch, one poet from Canada... Now, spread over six launches, we number 35,000 artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers, representing 234 countries, territories, and Indigenous nations, in time capsules launching from Earth to the Moon and beyond.

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 others. Their lunar landers will launch as payloads of commercial rocket platforms by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) or Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX).

Along with NASA instruments, these missions will carry commercial payloads, including the time capsules that make up  The Lunar Codex. 


On November 16, 2022, the Orion spacecraft launched on NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), orbiting the Moon and returning 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 carried a memory drive that included "Three Faces of the Moon" - a series of poems which will be archived on the surface in a 2024 mission by the Lunar Codex.

From its inception in late 2019 to today, the Lunar Codex has been
a labor of love. No creative artists or institutions pay for inclusion. All are curated in by professional editors, anthologists, publishers, art curators, and gallerists.

All in all, the Lunar Codex
comprises six time capsules, each launched by a different mission. No single mission contains all our archives; the Lunar Codex is the sum of all these missions.

Codex Orion was our payload onboard NASA's first Artemis mission, orbiting the Moon and returning to Earth.

Codex Peregrine was our payload onboard NASA's Peregrine Mission One by Astrobotic Technology, consisting of content, both analog and digital, in three separate DHL MoonBox canisters. Targeted for an archival landing but set back by an equipment anomaly, it reached lunar space and, in a controlled re-entry, burned up in Earth's atmosphere. 

Codex Nova refers to content for 674 Lunagrams, part of the Lunaprise disc on Intuitive Machines' Odysseus lander. It also includes RGB work on a NanoFiche layer alongside projects from the Long Now, Barrelhand, and StamperTech. We also acquired naming rights to one of the Moon cameras on Odysseus, developed by the International Lunar Observatory Association and Canadensys, which provided images from the transit to and landing on the Moon; the camera is named 'Lunar Codex'

Codex Serenity is our payload associated with the partners of the NASA CLPS-TO-19D mission, targeted for a landing in the Mare Crisium region of the Moon.

Codex Polaris is our payload associated with an Astrobotic Griffin mission carrying NASA's VIPER rover, targeting the Nobile Crater, in the vicinity of the Lunar South Pole.

Codex Freya is our payload ridesharing with the NASA PRIME-1 launch, separating from NASA's main mission before translunar injection, and surging past the Moon on a trajectory beyond lunar space.

Two of these - Orion and Freya - break the bonds of Earth, reaching for the Moon's orbit and beyond.
Four - Peregrine, Nova, Serenity, and Polaris - are  planned archival missions to the Moon's surface.


These archival missions of the Lunar Codex are part of the most significant placement of contemporary arts on the Moon in over fifty years. 


And if Orion was the prelude to the archival missions, Freya is the Codex's epilogue - its attempt to contribute to the Voyager legacy of humanity seeking to communicate its existence to beyond our solar system.

At its essence, the Lunar Codex is a set of time capsules, a message-in-a-bottle to future generations.
 

This website, LunarCodex.com, is the Earth-bound documentation of the project. It details the NASA programs that made it possible, the rockets and lunar landers we launched and landed with, and our time capsules - put together with off-the-shelf and cutting-edge archival technology, and unique technology developed during the project for color and audio preservation and reconstruction.
 

More importantly, this website provides a manifest of the journey - a record of the art, writing, music, and film, that the project has curated and collected - and the contemporary creative artists whose works are celebrated and preserved in the Lunar Codex. Every piece of human creativity in our time capsules is traceable through the manifests.

The creatives of the Lunar Codex are our representatives from Earth to the Moon and beyond, our ambassadors from this era to the future.

They represent creative work from Canada, the U.S., India, China, Australia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and indeed representing 249  countries, territories, and Indigenous nations.

That includes 181 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.

 

The Lunar Codex also includes creative contemporary arts and music from over 68 separate Indigenous peoples from the North American, Eurasian, and Australian continents.

In North America, representative creative artists come from all 50 U.S. states and 3 districts and territories, and from all 13 Canadian provinces and territories. 

Because of this, as an arts and culture project, the Lunar Codex has been called the most expansive, international, and diverse collection of contemporary culture launched into space.

It's fitting that, in parallel with Artemis - a program attempting to land the first woman on the Moon - the Lunar Codex is the first project to launch the works of women artists to the lunar surface.

People have also pointed out other firsts, including being the first project to place contemporary film and music on the Moon. It is the first to include work from disabled artists; the work of artisans in wood, clay, bronze, stone, mosaics, cloth; inked tattoo work, digital art, spray-painted urban art; and to include poetry from a human-AI collaboration.

Not a single artist paid for inclusion in this project. All were curated in by a circle of professional curators, gallerists, editors, and anthologists, all of whom believe in this passion project. See our C&C section for details.

Every creative artist included in the Lunar Codex is individually named in this website; or we reference their source exhibition, catalogue, magazine, collection, or anthology. This is the provenance that their work is part of the project.

Welcome to a cultural exposition like no other, an out-of-this-world celebration of creativity and the human spirit. Welcome to the Lunar Codex.


"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

RESOURCES

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