SpaceX will launch the “DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon" next year and it's being paid for using the dog meme-inspired, irony-soaked cryptocurrency Dogecoin. (Now imagine explaining that sentence to a person 100 years ago. Hell, even 15 years ago.)
The DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon will see SpaceX collaborate with Geometric Energy Corporation to send a 40 kilogram (88 pound) minisatellite to the Moon onboard a Falcon 9 rocket in the first quarter of 2022. The payload will be used to pick up information on the lunar surface using sensors and onboard cameras. Geometric Energy Corporation confirmed the plans on Sunday, May 9, revealing that the mission would be paid for using Dogecoin. However, the company did not reveal the mission’s financial value.
Elon Musk regularly references his penchant for Dogecoin on Twitter and he's even hinted about this plan by tweeting he was going to put a “literal Dogecoin on the literal moon.” However, the off-hand statement was cracked on April Fool’s Day, leaving most people to assume it was just another Musk joke. It turns out, this was deadly serious.
"This mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce," Tom Ochinero, SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales, said in a press release. "We're excited to launch DOGE-1 to the Moon!"
"Having officially transacted with DOGE for a deal of this magnitude, Geometric Energy Corporation and SpaceX have solidified DOGE as a unit of account for lunar business in the space sector," added Geometric Energy's Chief Executive Officer Samuel Reid.
Dogecoin is an open-source peer-to-peer digital currency that was established as a fun and friendly alternative to the overly earnest world of cryptocurrency. Its name – pronounced “Doje” with a soft G – is a reference to the internet meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog that emerged on Tumblr during its glory days in the early 2010s.
The Dogecoin cryptocurrency was established in 2013 as a joke, but it has recently risen to become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market value, soaring in value by 14,000 percent since January 2021. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are becoming more widely accepted as payment, Dogecoin is currently only accepted by a small handful of businesses and platforms (private space travel being one of them, apparently).
Musk has massively raised the profile of dogecoin through his online jesting. The cryptocurrency also got a boost when he tweeted that Tesla would soon accept Dogecoin as payment. On the other hand, he recently caused its value to plummet after describing it as a “hustle” during his appearance on the comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live.
Although rest assured, however, it will certainly not be the last time you hear about this surreal lovechild of cryptocurrency and internet memes.