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Is crowd-funding the future of space travel ?


Posted on Saturday, 17 August, 2013 | Comment icon 7 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf


Image credit: NASA

 
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 |  Source: CNN

  Discuss: View comments (7)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ozmorphus on 17 August, 2013, 15:57
Our government should have spent more money of space exploration.,
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin on 17 August, 2013, 16:53
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.
Comment icon #3 Posted by grc on 17 August, 2013, 17:09
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.
Comment icon #4 Posted by brlesq1 on 17 August, 2013, 23:00
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.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Parsec on 17 August, 2013, 23:55
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 ... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by highdesert50 on 18 August, 2013, 4:14
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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