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Elon Musk's SpaceX will launch a Dogecoin-funded satellite to the moon

The rise of Elon Musk's SpaceX
The rise of Elon Musk's SpaceX 05:09

Elon Musk's SpaceX has accepted the meme-inspired cryptocurrency Dogecoin as payment to launch a satellite to the moon next year. 

Musk announced that his rocket company will now accept Dogecoin as payment in a tweet Sunday night calling it the first crypto and first meme in space. He added that SpaceX will launch the "DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon" in the first quarter of 2022.

Last month, on April Fool's Day, the billionaire and self-proclaimed "Dogefather" tweeted that SpaceX was going to put a "literal Dogecoin on the literal moon."

The Geometric Energy Corporation, which is funding the mission, called it the first-ever commercial lunar payload in history paid for entirely with Dogecoin, which was started as a joke. It plans to launch an 88-pound satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. 

GEC said its payload "will obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras on-board with integrated communications and computational systems."

The announcement comes the same day SpaceX set a new record for its Falcon 9 rockets, landing its booster for the 10th time. It was the company's 14th launch so far this year and its fifth flight to orbit in less than five weeks.

"Having officially transacted with DOGE for a deal of this magnitude, Geometric Energy Corporation and SpaceX have solidified DOGE as a unit of account for lunar business in the space sector," GEC's CEO Samuel Reid said in a statement Sunday. 

The company said that Dogecoin is now the official currency for all lunar business between SpaceX and GEC in the future, calling it sophisticated, fast, reliable and cryptographically secure. 

"This mission will demonstrate the application of cryptocurrency beyond Earth orbit and set the foundation for interplanetary commerce," SpaceX VP of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero added. "We're excited to launch DOGE-1 to the Moon!"

Dogecoin has soared by more than 800% over the last month, with its total market value rising above $70 billion, according to cryptocurrency data tracker CoinGecko. But the price has fallen since Saturday night, when Musk described the currency as a "hustle" when he was hosting "Saturday Night Live." 

Musk, a major supporter of cryptocurrency, announced in February that his car company Tesla bought $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and planned to accept it as payment for vehicles. 

Tesla's profits hit $438 million in the first three months of the year — the most the company has ever earned in a single quarter. Nearly a quarter of the profits, or $101 million, came from selling a portion of the company's stake in bitcoin.

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