The Finnish tech company has provided financial and technical support to Hungarian Team Puli in their successful efforts to send the first Hungarian payload to the Moon.

HELSINKI, Finland and BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 07, 2021 [UPDATED July 8, 2021] – Tuxera, a world-leader in quality-assured storage management and networking software, announced a sponsorship of Puli Space Technologies’ efforts to take a monumental time capsule plaque to the Moon. Puli Space Technologies’ project, “Memory of Mankind (MoM) on the Moon” is one of 25 planned payloads aboard Astrobotic’s Peregrine Mission One (PM1). The Peregrine Lander is targeted for launch with United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Vulcan Rocket in 2022 under NASA’s Artemis program, Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS).

Memory of Mankind on the Moon launching in 2022

Puli Space Technology’s payload launches on Peregrine Lander in 2022, taking Tuxera to the Moon. Image credit: Astrobotic Technology Inc.

Hungarian-based Puli Space Technologies was founded in 2010 to launch on Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP), the world’s highest-paying technology competition. Tuxera’s founder and CTO, Szabolcs Szakacsits, a native of Hungary, spearheaded a technical and financial sponsorship to the Puli team beginning in 2014. Although Google’s prize conditions were not met by any team – and thus went unclaimed – Puli Space continued its mission to represent the nation of Hungary on the Moon. In 2016, Puli and Astrobotic Technology announced that Team Puli would have a unique payload carried to the moon on Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lander.

The historic “Memory of Mankind (MoM) on the Moon” venture from Puli Space Technologies will bring a lasting archive of imagery, news editorials, books, personal texts from the people of Earth to the moon on a special aluminum alloy plaque – including a brief statement from Tuxera. The plaque, which is resistant to lunar conditions, is an innovative means to store data in physical form. Its microfilm-like content is laser-etched into the surface and can hold millions of characters of text, all readable with a 10x magnifier. According to Team Puli, it represents a unique cultural and social imprint of the early 2020s that will be preserved for tens of thousands of years. The “Memory of Mankind (MoM) on the Moon” plaque will remain along with the Peregrine Lander, on the Moon’s Lacus Mortis basaltic plain.

Puli’s “Memory of Mankind (MoM) on the Moon” is part of the Earth-bound time capsule called Memory of Mankind (MoM). The texts that will travel on the Peregrine Lander are also placed here on Earth deep within the famous 7,000-year-old World Heritage Salt Mine in Hallstatt, Austria. The goal of MoM is to preserve as much information as possible from the culture of humanity for the future.

Countdown for 2023 Puli Lunar Water Snooper mission already ticking

The “Memory of Mankind (MoM) on the Moon” is not the stopping point for Puli Space Technologies, however. In July 2020, Team Puli took first prize in NASA’s “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload! The Sequel” challenge. The resulting miniaturized water ice detector from this challenge, the Puli Lunar Water Snooper (PLWS), will help NASA explore the Moon through its Artemis program.

“We’ve designed a very lightweight, low-cost micro-detector that is able to ‘sniff’ for hydrogen-bearing volatiles, including water ice,” says Tibor Pacher, Puli Space’s founder and CEO. “One of our major goals is to look for resources that can be used in-situ on the Moon. If our detector can figure out how much water ice is on the Moon, then it could potentially be harvested in the future for drinking water or to synthesize rocket fuel on the Moon.” The team is currently working on the PLWS as a payload for a mission slated for 2023, and continues its efforts to develop its own rover for future water ice prospecting missions.

PLWS lunar rover testing on Earth.
Terrestrial testing for PLWS project. Image © OeWF Claudia Stix, photographer.

As for Tuxera’s part, the company will continue to support Puli Space in its endeavors to the Moon both financially and through technical know-how. “We’re extremely excited to be helping Team Puli in their monumental work with Moon exploration,” says Szabolcs Szakacsits, founder and CTO of Tuxera. “We understand the harsh conditions such as extreme cold and radiation, which make data storage and processing more challenging in space. Tuxera already has file systems and flash management software at work in the International Space Station. We have also worked with a number of aerospace contractors in North America and Europe, so we’re fully ready to help Puli in their mission to the Moon.”

Feature image (at top) by NASA on Unsplash