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Waspie_Dwarf

Space exploration's future: crowd-funded?

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Fly me to the moon! Why the future of space exploration will be crowd-funded

(CNN) -- In the halcyon days of space exploration, when the USSR was sending the very first satellites into orbit, and Neil Armstrong was about to take his first (small) steps on the moon, NASA's finances accounted for a staggering 4.41% of the US federal budget. In the last two years, that figure has dropped below 0.50% for the first time since 1960, and with the long, slow decline in funding has come an equally steady slide in the US government's appetite for space exploration.

Two years ago, many commentators were proclaiming the end of the space age. The contention seemed hard to dispute: in 2011, NASA's Space Shuttle program was permanently retired when the Atlantis touched down to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after completing its final voyage. Around the same time, plans for a U.S.-manned mission to Mars were shelved, and steps were put in place to decommission the International Space Station.

But as governmental funds have dried up, amateur space enthusiasts around the world are reviving humanity's interplanetary dreams through crowd-researched and crowd-funded space projects of their own.

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Our government should have spent more money of space exploration.,

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Well, I guess the money has to come from somewhere, and if the US is super-tight on certain space budgets(not the secret one's of course) than maybe it's time for "crowd-funding"

My only worries is that, as with some public funding projects, scammers crawl-out of the woodwork with flashy/official looking emails and such to steal your money. I've seen that happen with bogus Girl-Scout solicitations, among others.

If that can be worked-out, I'm all for it.

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Yes "crowd-funding" could be the future of space exploration and I welcome that as long there is a way of preventing this to become a new type of fraud, because governments are too busy stealing from people or each other. There's my 2 cents.

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I think it's a wonderful idea. As someone said though, preventing fraud is paramount. I wonder what controls (if any) Kickstarter or these other crowd-funding sites have in place to deter scams.

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I hope not.

Probably if there would be a kickstarter project for a mission to Europa I'd contribute with pleasure, since I want to see a probe there as soon as possible, but to me it's not right.

It's a matter of principle: governments should take care of space programs, and should use their (our) money. Since they already have our money to spend, I don't see why we should give more money.

Anyway, I doubt that even with crowdfunding we could reach the $ billions needed for proper space projects. And we would miss a proper space program too, since, I guess, it would depend on the initiative of single, private companies, and not of governments.

Well, this leads me to an idea: all of this could change, if we'd close NASA, ESA and co., and start a new, supernational space agency, which would have the possibility to access to its parents data, infrastructures and means. The personnel would be transfered to the new agency and the governments should be in charge only for the maintenance of the whole system (so salaries, equipments, etc.), while the new projects would be funded by all of us directly. Since the crowdfunding is world-based, and all of us can contribute, to me it's right that also the results will be world-shared.

This could also lead to a more structured and programmed agenda, and possibly with a costs reduction for new projects, since we could base the work on an existing infrastructure and we shouldn't start over from scratch every time. Since the crowdfunding proposals would remain free to submit, anyone with a good idea could have the chance to propose his project, and have it funded, if found interesting by people. Obviously for particular projects governments could take part to the funding too, it would be up to them.

Well, this is an 01.55 AM idea (and I should go to bed), but what do you think, is it something feasable or completely inadmissable?

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The human element is by far the most compelling as it is fundamental to our genetic makeup. We simply need to explore and adapt. We see this process as 100000 people vie for a one way trip to Mars. I suspect crowd-funding will do more to foster manned exploration than robotic endeavors, despite scientists' best arguments that robots are better explorers. It's all about humans advancing themselves ... not robots.

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