Why is SpaceX Sending a Dogecoin Rocket to the Moon?
How did Dogecoin become popular?
Dogecoin has been a hot topic on Reddit for several years. It’s had some mainstream moments, too: in 2014, for example, a group of Redditors raised roughly $30,000 in Dogecoin to send the Jamaican Bobsled Team to the Winter Olympics in Sochi. But Dogecoin’s biggest breakthrough was during the stonks fiasco of January 2021, when a group of redditors on r/wallstreetbets decided to pump up GameStop’s stock. After the focus around GameStop subsided, a group of Redditors pivoted to pumping Dogecoin. Elon Musk tweeted his support for Dogecoin, boosting its value even further.
Musk has made many Dogecoin mentions since, mainly on Twitter but most recently on Saturday Night Live. So of all the cryptocurrencies SpaceX could have highlighted for a lunar mission, it makes sense the company is transacting with Dogecoin.
What’s DOGE-1 going to do?
To be honest, we don’t really know.
Beyond payment, details on the mission are still very thin. Though the satellite will probably be sent into lunar orbit, it’s unclear what the spacecraft will do once it gets there. According to a press release from GEC, “the payload will obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on-board with integrated communications and computational systems.” The Planetary Society has reached out to SpaceX and GEC for further explanation on what this means.
We do know that “digital art” and “space plaques” will be involved somehow. Elon Musk wrote on Twitter the mission will include the “first meme in space,” but SpaceX and GEC haven’t indicated what this will entail or how it’ll be materialized. There could be some sort of reference to Dogecoin going “to the moon,” a phrase its supporters use to describe Dogecoin’s value skyrocketing.
It’s also possible that SpaceX will try, as Musk has previously said, to actually put a Dogecoin on the Moon. Since Dogecoin isn’t tangible, like a dollar or penny, it’s anyone’s guess as to how or if it’ll happen.
It’s a lot to take in. As Shibe would probably agree, all we can say for now is “wow.”