The British Space Agency yesterday unveiled plans for a manned British expedition to the Moon by the end of 2010.
The mission, says the Agency, will be the first, and quite possibly, the last of its kind, as Britain is still in its 'space infancy' and a million light years behind even, for example, Albanian space research.
The National Space Centre near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, will most likely be the site for take-off, depending on meteorological conditions and whether or not it is Market Day.
Because it is the first British mission to the Moon, and because there is the very real danger that the spacecraft might not make it back to Earth, crew selection is of the utmost importance. The BSA has invited the public to email them with the names of people that they think deserve to be lost in space.
A strong early contender is Cliff Richard, the Indian crooner who has delighted audiences for more than 70 years. Bruce Forsyth is also in the running, as is Pete Doherty, already considered by many to be in 'outer space'.
The craft for the outing has been tentatively named The Bungle, and was funded by a £50,000 National Lottery grant. It will aim to discover if the Moon really is made of green cheese, if a man lives in it, and whether or not there is any evidence of a cow having jumped over it.
A spokesman said that, as Neil Armstrong had driven a golf ball on the Moon in 1969, it would be fitting that another keen, albeit distinctly amateur, golfer Bruce Forsyth might be the one to "play the second to the green", providing he is still alive by then, of course.
"If not, we might roll a cricket square out", he said.