At places like NASA, everything is all about the Moon these days.
In a couple years, the first Artemis missions will begin. This program's ultimate goal is to not only send humans back to the Moon, but to place permanent bases there. But before people return to our little neighbour for good, something else is going to make the journey.
Called We Rise Together—With The Light Of The Moon, the piece of art has been created by British artist Sacha Jafri. Based on a full colour original painting, the moon artwork has been engraved into a piece of aluminum gold.
Basically, it is built to last forever!
New NASA initiative
The artwork is making its big journey as a part of something new at NASA. It is called Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS. You can think of CLPS as a kind of FedEx for the Moon. It has been made to provide 'lunar delivery' services for science, exploration, and development up there.
The delivery of Jafri's art is going to be part of its first-ever mission.
Having a program like this makes a lot of sense. Right now, the only place where humans live off Earth is the International Space Station, which must be supplied regularly. It is about a six-hour trip.
But the Moon is nearly 400,000 kilometers (240,000 miles) away. That journey takes three days to complete. A reliable delivery service won't just be a nice idea—it will be essential.
'Reconnection of humanity'
This mission will test some of the capabilities of CLPS to be that reliable service. And along the way, it will bring a very cool piece of art to a unique gallery indeed! Jafri spoke about the art at an official unveiling of the mission at Expo 2020 Dubai back in February.
"It is a heart motif with two figures entwined in love," he said. "It represents the reconnection of humanity. It tries to evoke that feeling of getting away from the nonsense or the discrimination, the hate, the intolerance. Everything that we’ve had to go through as a humanity. Now is the time for change. I hope this artwork represents that."
So do we, Sacha!
Jafri, who recently sold a massive painting called The Journey of Humanity for an amazing $62 million US, is well known for his humanitarian efforts. In fact, he donated that those millions to various charities!