New Moon Era

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

We are living in a time of great uncertainty, but also great progress.

There has not been a successful moon mission since 1972, but last week that changed when SpaceX’s NASA-funded Falcon 9 rocket, Odysseus, landed on the Moon after launching from Cape Canaveral, FL. My brother, Alex, was on hand for the launch.

This achievement not only demonstrates the incredible progress we’ve made in space exploration, but the prospect of the Moon becoming a thriving hub for scientific research and technological advancements moving forward. It’s also clear that the Space Race is heating up culturally as we are headed toward a new moon era.

As is typically the case, it was not all smooth sailing beyond the earth’s atmosphere. During its week-long flight, the lander had issues positioning its lasers, which led to its controllers having to implement experimental NASA tech to land safely. Although it fared better than Astrobotic’s Peregrine, the other privately-built Moon lander NASA launched this year that burned up in Earth’s atmosphere, Odysseus did immediately topple onto its side. The hypothesis is that it tripped over a rock. Who among us hasn’t been there 🙂

The lunar lander may have taken a tumble, but let’s not let that eclipse the musical history that was made. Odysseus brought digitized recordings from some of the most iconic musicians of all time to an arts-centric time capsule that’s currently sitting on the Moon’s silent surface.

Building off the last era of Moon travel – where there is already a Moon museum left behind from Apollo 12 in 1969 – this new moon era is going to be even more dynamic.

This lunar art museum spans millennia, reaching all the way back to a Sumerian cuneiform fragment of musical notation, and up to modern-day beats by Timbaland. The digitized lunar archive includes material from 20th century icons Elvis Presley, Marvin Gaye, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Sly & the Family Stone, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, The Who and many more, as well as photos from Woodstock and album art – a photo of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon is included, naturally – in a glass, nickel, and NanoFiche structure built to last millions, if not billions, of years.

One really cool element of this trip is that Jeff Koons, the renowned artist known for his ambitious projects, has created a work titled “Jeff Koons: Moon Phases,” which is aboard Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lander. The artwork consists of 125 miniature, stainless-steel sculptures arranged in a cubed array, each representing different phases of the Moon as seen from various vantage points on Earth and in space. The sculptures bear the names of luminaries from various fields. Larger twins of these sculptures, along with linked NFTs, will be available on Earth through Pace Gallery’s Pace Verso.

Besides the great art that we have left behind, there is also a sense that there will be a lot of precious metals that can be mined from the moon. The moon is omnipresent and a global connector of all mankind. It’s amazing how the Moon joins us all together and is something everyone across the world can connect with.

The next big moon moment is on April 8th, when a rare total solar eclipse will take place, blocking out the southwest side of the Sun at the 5 o’clock mark before fully eclipsing it.

Cosmic and cultural moments like this open lots of doors for marketing ideas. From the VMA’s Moon Man to the many moon-related brands (Moon Pay, Blue Moon), the moon has continued to play an exciting role in culture and wonderment as it does every night of our lives.

Humans are planning to return to the moon in 2026, but in the meantime, new toys are being created around space culture, like this new Japanese inspired lunar rover.

As for planet earth this weekend, the Montreux Jazz Festival is headed to Miami and I’m thrilled. It should be a special weekend with a lot of great music and friends visiting to ensure that this inaugural labor of love pops off properly. From Darryl Oats, to the Wailers, to Jon Batiste, we can’t go wrong. The only thing I think is missing, from a space perspective, at least, is Sun Ra.

Tickets here!

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Also published on Medium.