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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
Swedes aim to put house on Moon
The Moon
Sweden could become the "third country to occupy the Moon"
Charming cottage, secluded location, stunning panoramic views...

A Swedish artist has asked experts to help design one of Sweden's iconic little red cottages - but this one will stand on the Moon.

Mikael Genberg has recruited the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) to help plan the operation.

The little red houses are found across the Swedish countryside, but Mr Genberg says he wants this one to become "an international symbol".

He says if everything goes to plan, the house may appear on the Moon in 2011.

Mr Genberg has arranged a competition for students and companies to design a house that could be contained in a small, light package, that would open up once landed on the Moon's surface.

We know where the Americans want to land people in 2020... It would be nice if we had a house for them when they come
Mikael Genberg

"The house itself is supposed to be very small... the package will build itself up to a house," Mr Genberg told the BBC's Europe Today programme.

"It's going to be an unmanned landing - we hope it's going to land in 2011."

"It has to be very, very light, but so that it in some way hardens so that it stands for thousands of years when it's up there."

Practical use?

There were two main reasons for the project, he said.

"First we want to prove that the impossible is possible.

"But when we put this house on the Moon, which is a kind of Swedish endeavour right now, we want to make it an international symbol... it will represent the position of our own planet in the universe, like a fragile thing."

He hoped the house might have a practical use, too.

"We know where the Americans want to land people in 2020... It would be nice if we had a house for them when they come," he said.

The state-owned SSC has been happy to get involved in the project, which could cost 500m kroner (36m).

"If we manage to do this Sweden will be the third country to occupy the moon", the SSC's Fredrik von Scheele told the Swedish newspaper The Local.

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