A British Moon Landing In 2026?

A British Moon Landing In 2026?

What could be a better way for Manchester to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee than for the city to announce the launch of its own Space Mission, the historic ‘Manc on the Moon’ 2026 Expedition?

Could Manchester Land a Person On the Moon By 2026?

Having seen at first-hand the depressing indifference with which many students in Manchester’s schools and colleges have come to regard Maths and the Sciences, it occurred to me that the occasion of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee might be the perfect time for the City of Manchester to embark on a historic project that could reawaken an excitement in STEM across this country like nothing ever before seen.

Consisting of a literal ‘moonshot’ endeavour involving a ‘Manhattan Project’-like crash program to build a SpaceX-style Starship (‘HMS Galactica’ i.e. Her Majesty’s Starship Galactica), this spectacular undertaking would aim to land a ‘Mancunian on the Moon’ by 2026. Or ten Mancunians to be precise — one from each of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs.

This lunar voyage — to be named the ‘Excalibur Mission’ — would be launched from an as-yet-to-be-built ‘Queen Elizabeth Space Centre’ (Britain’s answer to Cape Canaveral) and would have as its goal the establishment of a permanent lunar base (‘Moon Base Albion’) to be settled by our city’s very own ‘Manconauts’ and serve as a training post for Manchester’s 2029 ‘Galadriel Mission’ to Mars.

How Would Manchester’s Moon Landing Be Funded?

In what would be the world’s single largest NFT project, Manchester’s Excalibur Mission could be funded by tokenizing the Mancunian Starship as an NFT, placing it on marketplaces like Opensea and exchanges like Coinbase where investors the world over would be able to purchase one of 10,000 unique Starship NFTs towards our goal of raising the estimated £10 billion budget with which to build our Mancunian Starship.

And, presto, with greater ease than Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic or Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Greater Manchester — in whose ten boroughs reside thousands of talented scientists, technicians and engineers — could launch our very own STEM-engagement Space Mission, assemble our own SpaceX-like Starship and land a ‘Manc on the Moon’ by 2026.

Does Manchester Possess the Resources & Expertise for a Moon Landing?

  • According to a recent study Manchester has among the world’s leading “robotics, advanced materials, automation, metrology and artificial intelligence” professionals along with a “high concentration of industrial expertise in the design, development and manufacture of complex machinery”, thus endowing our city with everything we need for Manchester’s very own ‘Apollo Program’
  • As the world’s graphene capital (and home of both the National Graphene Institute and its sister facility, the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre) Manchester’s expertise in the material makes our city the one best suited to supply the heat shield for Manchester’s first SpaceX-style Starship
  • Greater Manchester’s Borough of Rochdale, as home to the planned Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute, is set to play a leading role in the UK’s development of autonomous robotic systems of the kind that would be vital to Manchester’s first Moon Landing
  • The 120-hectare Heywood/Pilsworth site, which is located around Junction 18 of the M60 motorway and extends east to Junction 19 of the M62 and north to Junction 3 of the M66, is situated close to the Heywood Distribution Park and would be the ideal site for a Starship-building gigafactory for Manchester’s first Moon Mission

Greater Manchester thus possesses, within her ten boroughs, all of the expertise and resources to undertake a full-fledged Space Mission that could land a ‘Manc on the Moon’ on our own locally built Starship by 2026.

After all, if Britons have the ingenuity to build Vanguard-class nuclear powered submarines (and undertake Herculean engineering projects like the Elizabeth Line and HS2), could we not just as easily summon the same Blitz Spirit with which the Oxford-AstraZeneca team conjured a COVID vaccine in 2020 in order to assemble a fleet of Thatcher-class fusion-driven Starships that would land a ‘Manc on the Moon’ by 2026?

A ‘Mancunian Model’ of Space Exploration?

As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester could become Britain’s ‘Space Capital’ and launch a global Space Revolution that could transform Planet Earth. And like Manchester’s world beating premier league football teams, a newly-formed Greater Manchester Starship Command (GMSC) and Greater Manchester Astronaut Corps (GMAC) could trigger a ‘Darwinian Dynamic’ that would see each of Britain’s largest cities launch their own space missions.

The ensuing competition between these rival regional space efforts — powered by the same competitive passion that propels local football teams to victory — would ultimately succeed in landing Britons on the Moon and Mars much sooner than would ever be realized through either the national or commercial space route.

Online platforms like LinkedIn would be an invaluable resource in assembling the ‘Manhattan Project’-style team of specialists who would build our Starships and land our ‘Manc on the Moon’. The top aerospace professionals in Manchester, Great Britain and the world are to be found by their thousands simply by typing in the relevant job title.

And the fact that Manchester’s Starships themselves would be communally owned by the fans and investors who purchased the Starship NFTs would assure the project of broad public support and fuel the passion propelling the ‘Manc on the Moon’ mission from an idle daydream into a blazing reality.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul Bitakaramire is a freelance writer based in Manchester whose articles have appeared in Britain’s Spectator magazine and elsewhere.

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