Will a Torah Go to the Moon on a Google Spacecraft?
An Israeli-based team is hoping to send a Torah scroll to the moon’s surface. Reports are coming out of Israel that a scroll of the sacred Torah might be an item added to the Google spacecraft through the Google Lunar XPrize mission, which is a competition for private companies to land a vehicle on the moon. The Torah would be put inside a capsule that could survive for 10,000 years and it would be joined by other important texts in the future to preserve snippets of Earth’s culture and society in case humanity goes extinct through an apocalypse.
Jonathan O’Callaghan writes that “On Christmas Eve in 1968 Nasa provoked outrage among atheists when the Apollo 8 astronauts read from the Book of Genesis as they orbited the moon. So if any people of a similar disposition are reading, look away now – a team based in Israel are planning to send the Torah to the moon. The sacred Jewish scroll would be sent along with other iconic Earth artefacts as part of the Google Lunar XPrize, a competition amongst private companies to send vehicles to the moon, with the goal of maintaining Earth’s culture in the event of an apocalypse. An Israeli-based team is hoping to send a handwritten version of the Torah (stock image shown) to the surface of the moon. Their goal is to hitch a ride with a mission currently competing in the Google Lunar XPrize, which should see private companies landing on the moon starting at the end of 2015.”
The project, known as Torah on the Moon, is based in Tel Aviv. Previously to this attempt, the Torah on the Moon project was hoped to occur with a lander designed by Tel Aviv University Laboratory called SpaceIL , but the partnership has since been cancelled. This vehicle is designed to ‘hop’ across the lunar surface using rockets. The team hasn’t booked a place on any particular flight.