Exploratory space missions of the future may be funded by ordinary people, not government agencies.
Over the last few years the amount of money being assigned to space projects by the US government has hit an all-time low, leading some to believe that we are heading not in to an era of science-fiction style space exploration but instead towards the end of the space age. But there is one new source of funds that has seen huge gains in popularity thanks to the Internet - websites offering users the opportunity to contribute their own money towards any project they choose.
A small number of ambitious projects have already cropped up on sites such as Kickstarter which aim to carry on where agencies such as NASA have left off. Most of these endeavors are small projects limited to launches in to Earth's orbit but there are some with a much more significant goal in mind. One particularly ambitious effort for example is hoping to research and fund a mission to send a small submarine to explore the oceans of Europa.
"The fledgling mission hopes to take an amphibious vehicle farther than humanity has ever traveled before, to dive deep into the freezing oceans of Europa."
View: Full article
Discuss: View comments (6)