This is Lunar Mission One – the most inspirational project since the Apollo landings, according to the British consortium behind it.

The plan, to crowdfund a robot mission to the moon by offering donors the chance to plant their messages, photos, videos, even their own DNA, on the lunar surface. All these will be stored in a time capsule which will be buried underneath the moon's surface, and the group claim it could survive for one billion years.

It has a scientific basis as well. The robotic probe plans to drill and analyse a sample deep underneath the moon's surface, something which has never been done before.

It will also survey and analyse the Moon's south pole to see if a human base can be set up there in the future.

With the success of the European Space Agency's Philae comet landing last week, space exploration seems to once again be capturing the public imagination. And just as well, as the public is also expected to fund it.