Elon Musk is following up his Saturday Night Live stint with another, more practical pitch for Dogecoin. Canadian engineering firm Geometric Energy Corporation has struck a deal with SpaceX to launch its DOGE-1 cubesat to the Moon in the first quarter of 2022. As the name implies, it's funded entirely by Dogecoin — the first commercial lunar payload paid for with the cryptocurrency, Geometric Energy said.
The mission will launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The 88-pound cubesat will collect "lunar-spatial intelligence" through a combination of cameras and sensors, according to the company. And yes, SpaceX is fully aware of the significance of the launch. Commercial sales VP Tom Ochinero said the mission would demonstrate the viability of crypto beyond Earth and establish a "foundation for interplanetary commerce."
Future lunar missions will also rely on Dogecoin, Geometric Energy added.
There's little doubt both sides see the chance for publicity here — DOGE-1 is one large tech trend mashup. It does hint at how private spaceflight could change, though, and it's a reminder that SpaceX's interest in the Moon extends beyond government contracts and tourism.
The timing is apt. Hours earlier, SpaceX broke one of its internal records by launching and landing a particular Falcon 9 rocket for the 10th time — the most reuse any booster has had at the company. While reusable rockets are clearly nothing new at the company by this point, the news suggests that these vessels could be in use for a long while before they need to retire.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, completing this booster’s 10th launch and landing! pic.twitter.com/8KeEAfHgWF— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 9, 2021