DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — NASA's Artemis Program is gearing up to send men and women to the moon. There's another project, however, that's sending works of art to the moon, too.
The Lunar Codex is a time capsule project that's sending about 30,000 contemporary works from artists, writers, musicians, and filmmakers from 156 countries to the moon.
One Maine freelance artist and elementary school art teacher, Lydia Rose Spencer, will get to archive one of her paintings in the time capsule.
"It's like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be included," Spencer said. "To see all these incredible people that are being included and to like be among them is really amazing. I can't really describe the feeling, actually."
Samuel Peralta, the founder of the Lunar Codex project, is a writer who wanted to send his own work. His idea sparked the larger concept and wants to make the project one of the largest cultural exhibits to ever launch to the moon.
"We're in hoping that the future whether they be humans or extraterrestrials will open up these time capsules and see the kind of work we were doing in this century," Peralta said. "The art, the beauty that we could make of our world even though we are surrounded by war, pandemics, financial crisis."
Through Commercial Lunar Payload Services, Peralta said he bought very limited space on spacecraft. Peralta will load a tiny box with a memory card or nickel disks to put onboard.
This will be the first time female artists will have their work archived on the moon.
"It's really cool to be like in Maine in a little town when there's only so many opportunities for artists here," Spencer said.
Spencer has work featured in an art gallery in Chicago, which was submitted for the Lunar Codex.
"It's kind of like one of those right place at the right time kind of things," Spencer said. "To be in the right show. To be, you know, submitting artworks in galleries being accepted into it at the right time."
The Lunar Codex has four time capsules being sent to the moon. Spencer's painting will be sent to space in 2024 as part of "The Polaris Collection." It will land on the moon's Nobile Crater.