What personal items would you bring to the Moon? NASA wants to know

  • NASA wants to know what personal items you’d bring along with you if you got to go on a trip to the Moon.
  • You’re encouraged to tweet a pic of your “Moon Kit” with the hashtag #NASAMoonKit for the chance to be featured by NASA’s social media accounts.
  • You can choose to pick whatever items you want, or you can try to fit them into NASA’s “Expert Mode” which means you can only use as much space as a real astronaut gets for personal belongings.

Unless you’re one of the very few people that is deemed worthy of donning a NASA spacesuit, there’s pretty much no chance that you (or I) will ever be headed to the Moon. That’s fine as far as I’m concerned since I get nervous just flying a few hours and could definitely not handle a rocket launch, but NASA is still curious what items folks like you and I would take with us if we were ever to actually travel to Earth’s big pale satellite.

NASA is putting the call out for people to post their own must-have Moon kits on social media. You can post your choices along with the hashtag #NASAMoonKit for the chance to be featured by NASA’s own social media accounts. However, there are a few rules.

There are two “modes” you can choose from for the contest. If you don’t feel like getting too intense you can simply post a photo of your Moon Kit without worrying about the size of the items in your secret stash. However, if you want to try the “Expert Mode” you can post a kit that abides by NASA’s own rules regarding how much space an astronaut’s personal items can take up.

“Follow the strict guidelines astronauts must adhere to when packing their ‘personal preference kits.'” NASA explains. “Each astronaut traveling to the International Space Station is only allowed a 5-by-8-by-2-inch (12.7-by-20.3-by-5.1-cm) volume of space to carry personal items. That’s significantly smaller than a standard airplane carry-on bag, which measures 9 inches by 14 inches by 22 inches.”

5-by-8-by-2 inches is incredibly small, and will seriously limit the number of items you can take along. It makes sense for astronauts since the number of personal belongings taken to the ISS eats up precious space and has to be accounted for carefully. Applying that same logic to items we use every day is more difficult, and you’ll have to be incredibly selective in your choices if you decide to try NASA’s Expert Mode challenge.

“We’re excited to see what you would pack for the ultimate adventure – a trip to the Moon,” NASA’s Bettina Inclán said in a statement. “At a time when many of us are working, teaching or learning from home, this is a unique way to learn more about the Artemis program and join NASA as we prepare for humanity’s next steps on the lunar surface.”

So, no, you probably won’t ever travel to the Moon, but NASA is giving us a reason to pretend, so we might as well take it.

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