SpaceX is launching a Dogecoin-funded satellite to the Moon

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Elon Musk's SpaceX is sending a satellite name DOGE-1 to the Moon — and the launch will be paid for entirely in Dogecoin.

The DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon will see a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket deliver a 40kg cubesat satellite into orbit in early 2022. The payload will be sent up and paid for by a company called Geometric Energy Corporation, with the transaction conducted entirely in Dogecoin. 

The cry of "To the Moon!" has regularly been used in relation to the cryptocurrency recently, which has soared in value to the point where it's now one of the top cryptocurrency performers and is worth more than Ford

Next year's launch will make that a rallying call a reality, with the satellite's mission being to "obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on-board with integrated communications and computational systems."

Musk has long championed the cryptocurrency, which began as a joke response to Bitcoin, by regularly tweeting about it and talking up its potential; he's even dubbed himself "The Dogefather." And you might expect, the Tesla CEO was delighted by the news, declaring that the mission would represent "the first crypto in space" and "the first meme in space."

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In a possibly tongue-in-cheek statement, SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero said that the mission "will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce. We're excited to launch DOGE-1 to the Moon!"

Musk had previously teased the announcement in March, tweeting that SpaceX was going to put a "literal Dogecoin on the literal moon" — although most people took that to be typical hyperbole from a man who's no stranger to it.

The news helped Dogecoin to rally after a tricky weekend that saw it drop by more than 30% in value after Musk called it a "hustle" in his Saturday Night Live hosting spot.

Musk's guest hosting slot on the show was expected to send the memecoin to new heights, but instead it plunged from above 70 cents to just 43 cents. It then climbed back to $0.59, and currently sits at $0.53 — still a long way short of its record high.

That said, Dogecoin remains one of the biggest crypto success stories this year, with growth of more than 12,000% since January.

Marc McLaren

Formerly Editor in Chief (U.K.) on Tom’s Guide, Marc oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage, and was also responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output. He is now U.K. Editor in Chief on TechRadar. Marc previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun, and on a car magazine. An avid photographer, he likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). When he gets time, he also enjoys gaming (console and mobile), cycling and attempting to watch as much sport as any human can. He's also fallen in love with Wordle over the past six months and is the author of our today's Wordle answer column, in which he supplies hints and strategy tips for the mega-popular word game. Given he's completed every single Wordle so far and only lost once, and analyzed every Wordle answer in search of patterns, he's well qualified to help you safeguard your streak.