A partnership of British and U.S. scientists in a future mission to the moon is under discussion. The proposal is called MoonLITE (Moon Lightweight Interior and Telecoms Experiment) and would place a satellite in orbit around the moon. Three to four projectiles loaded with scientific equipment would be fired into the surface of the moon with the goal of penetrating enough soil to embed themselves below the lunar surface.

In a statement released February 15, the British National Space Center and NASA said MoonLITE seeks information regarding the structure of the moon, size of the lunar core and source of lunar seismic activity. Costs will need to be developed and finalized before the decision to go ahead with the proposal is made. Another benefit of the project would be testing the communications network in space that would be used for future missions, whether robotic or manned.

The day before, Ian Pearson, Britain’s space minister said they were reconsidering the twenty-two year old decision keeping Britain from pursuing its own manned space flights. Britain announced plans for a new space research center to be constructed near Oxford.

No timeline was available as yet.