DOGE-1, the first crypto-funded mission to the moon, is set to launch early next year following a new partnership between two blockchain companies and manufacturer Geometric Energy Corporation, also known as GEC.
Smart exchange ecosystem Unizen and decentralized finance incubator ZenX announced Wednesday that they are in the process of building and launching DOGE-1, a 40-kilogram — roughly 88 pounds — CubeSat that will provide a new use case for cryptocurrencies. The CubeSat will travel to a “stable lunar orbit” in order to obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras that will be sent back to GEC for analysis.
The CubeSat will be deployed through a launch agreement with SpaceX FalconX slated for the first quarter of 2022, though no hard dates were provided. Over 1,600 CubeSats have been launched to date, but unlike DOGE-1, they’ve traveled into Low Earth Orbit, which is between 100 and 1,200 miles above the Earth’s surface. Traveling to lunar orbit puts DOGE-1 250,000 miles away from Earth.
“NASA’s CAPSTONE was set to be the first cubesat to reach the moon, but it has been delayed a number of times and has a current launch date of late March 2022,” the companies said. “This means that DOGE-1 could be the first cubesat in history to reach the moon, marking a significant achievement for global spaceflight.”
As Cointelegraph previously reported, the Dogecoin-funded project was first introduced in May of this year, with a planned launch date as early as the first quarter of 2022. At the time, SpaceX vice president of commercial sales Tom Ochinero said the “mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce.”
Dogecoin (DOGE) rose to prominence earlier this year thanks in part to SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who touted the memecoin’s virtues and even claimed to work with its developers to improve its efficiency. The Musk-inspired surge may have added billions to DOGE’s market capitalization at a time when more mainstream users were getting into cryptocurrency.