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Swede plans to put little red cottage on the moon

Published: 11 Oct 2006 12:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Oct 2006 12:11 GMT+02:00

Not content with having them dotted all over the countryside, Sweden is now considering putting a little red cottage on the moon. The idea, first conjured up by the artist Mikael Genberg seven years ago, may become reality with the help of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), according to N24.

The state agency SSC has carried out a technical study showing that it is indeed possible to put a little red cottage on the moon.

"If we manage to do this Sweden will be the third country to occupy the moon", said SSC's Fredrik von Schéele.

A competition has been arranged for students to construct a little red house that is suitably sized for placement by a moon landing device. The construction may not exceed eight square metres and can weigh a maximum of four kilos.

A jury consisting of leading researchers and professors from the Swedish space industry has already been appointed to oversee the project.

The project is expected to cost 500 million kronor. Unless there are problems financing the project or there is a sudden scarcity of Falun red paint there could be a little house on the moon by 2011.

"The idea came to me in 1999. I had just finished working on a tree house hotel and was in the process of producing an underwater hotel when I saw an article in Expressen: 'Now Sweden goes for the moon'. My idea was not realistic at all. But it kept coming back to me and by August 2003 I had made quite a few enquiries. Ever since then it has grown into far more than an artwork," artist Mikael Genberg told The Local.

He explains how the last few years have seen a new race to the moon. And Sweden is keen to be involved, even if this means cooperating with other countries. Putting a house on the moon would strengthen the impression of Sweden as a hi-tech country.

"The project will cost 500 million kronor, which is quite reasonable. I think if we can make absolutely sure that this will happen it should be possible to finance it."

While the little red house is well known as a national symbol within Sweden, Genberg would like the construction to have a more international aspect.

"Everybody sees the moon, so the house should be a symbol for mankind, as well as a sort of all-seeing eye looking over us," said Genberg.

Experts could not confirm whether the cottage would finally provide a permanent housing solution for the man on the moon.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se)

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