American billionaire Elon Musk’s aerospace manufacturer and transportation company SpaceX will launch the “DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon” in the first quarter of 2022, and will accept Dogecoin as full payment for the lunar trip.
Dogecoin is a meme inspired cryptocurrency created by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who decided to create a payment system that is instant, fun, and free from traditional banking fees. Dogecoin features the face of the Shiba Inu dog from the “Doge” meme as its logo and namesake.
The dogecoin-funded mission was recently confirmed by SpaceX’s communications team through an email. The mission’s financial value was not disclosed.
DOGE-1 Moon mission
DOGE-1 will fly a 40 kilogram cube satellite as a payload on a Falcon 9 rocket, with its payload “obtaining lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on-board with integrated communications and computational systems.”
SpaceX vice president of commercial sales Tom Ochinero said in a statement that DOGE-1 “will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce. We’re excited to launch DOGE-1 to the Moon!”
Mr. Musk previously announced the company’s plans, in the form of a tweet on April Fool’s Day. “SpaceX is going to put a literal Dogecoin on the literal moon,” he wrote.
The DOGE-1 mission comes after Mr. Musk, the self-proclaimed “Dogefather,” made his debut as host of US television show “Saturday Night Live.” The price of dogecoin plunged during his appearance, falling below 50 cents, despite his references to the cryptocurrency.
For SpaceX, the announcement also comes on the day the company set a new record for its Falcon 9 series of rockets. After launching another batch of Starlink satellites into orbit, SpaceX landed the Falcon 9 rocket’s booster for a 10th time, which is a benchmark Mr. Musk has previously described as key in the company’s progress of reusing its rockets.
“It’s designed to do 10 or more flights with no refurbishment between each flight,” Mr. Musk said. “We believe that the [Falcon 9] boosters are capable of on the order of at least 100 flights before being retired. Maybe more.”