Who’s Sending Stuff into Space? YOU!

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Want to send something into space?

Got a little money?

You can be part of an open hardware project intended to design a $5,000 home-built moon rocket launch kit.  The person putting it together is Philip Pierce, and he and his team of engineers were contenders pushing for the Lunar X Prize before their backer ran out of money and backed out.  During their X Prize experience they realized just how cheap a carefully designed, much lower weight (3 lbs or less payload), moon delivery rocket really could be.

Think back a couple of decades (those of us who were there) to what happened to personal computers when their price started to approach the lower four digits.  How many people can afford do do this?  How many would?  I purchased my first laptop around twelve or thirteen years ago for $1,320 and it had less than 1% of the capabilities that the new $400 Acer Aspire currently under my findgers has.

The microcomputer revolution will repeat itself in the form of interplanetary space travel.  Just think…if moon rockets reach price points similar to personal computers, geeks with money would jump on them with a fervor.  Of course as the popularity increased, the technology, general understanding and secondary products would all improve at warp speed and prices would plumet like a stone.  If individuals can afford spaceflight then the home-business entreprenuers will start to make money on clever new destination point lunar applications tomarrow that nobody dreamed of today.  Kids would save up their allowance and build and launch their own satellites!

However, designing that first rocket kit will require a series of test flights, and test flights cost money.  The group who wants to do this is trying to group source the cash ($25,000) and they have posted their project on KickStarter.  Small donations get you small things sent to orbit during the test launch phase of the project.  Big donations get you bigger things sent to orbit or to the moon itself.  Here’s the layout of donations/rewards (as copy/pasted from their KickStarter Donation screen this morning)…

————————————————-

  • $20

    twenty words of your choosing, delivered to low earth orbit altitude. We combine all entries onto one or more pages

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

  • $50

    postcard sized letter written by you, delivered to low earth orbit altitude

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

  • $125

    – postcard sized letter written by you, delivered to low earth orbit altitude – 1oz item of your choice, carried to space on one of our launches. Note, this item will not be returned to you.

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

  • $250

    – postcard sized letter written by you, delivered to low earth orbit altitude – 3oz item of your choice, carried to space on one of our launches. Note, this item will not be returned to you

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

  • $500

    – postcard sized letter written by you, delivered to low earth orbit altitude – 3oz item of your choice, carried to space on one of our launches. Note, this item will not be returned to you – Invitation to attend and/or participate in one of our launches

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

  • $1,000

    – postcard sized letter written by you, delivered to low earth orbit altitude – 3oz item of your choice, carried to space on one of our launches. Note, this item will not be returned to you – Invitation to attend and/or participate in one of our launches – 1oz item of your choice, delivered to the moon. Note, this item cannot be returned to you

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

  • $1,500

    – postcard sized letter written by you, delivered to low earth orbit altitude – 3oz item of your choice, carried to space on one of our launches. Note, this item will not be returned to you – Invitation to attend and/or participate in one of our launches – 1oz item of your choice, delivered to the moon. Note, this item cannot be returned to you – Your name or logo displayed on our rocket for one flight. We will provide HD pics and video of the name/logo prior to launch, and during ignition (if possible)

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

  • $5,000

    – postcard sized letter written by you, delivered to low earth orbit altitude – 3oz item of your choice, carried to space on one of our launches. Note, this item will not be returned to you – Invitation to attend and/or participate in one of our launches – 3oz item of your choice, delivered to the moon. Note, this item cannot be returned to you – Your name or logo displayed on our rocket for all flights. We will provide HD pics and video of the name/logo prior to launch, and during ignition (if possible)

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

  • $6,000

    – Your very own Lunar Rocket Kit! Once we have completed the development of the final rocket, we will send you all materials, instructions, supplies, and parts you need to send your rocket to the moon. – postcard sized letter written by you, delivered to low earth orbit altitude – 3oz item of your choice, carried to space on one of our launches. Note, this item will not be returned to you – Invitation to attend and/or participate in one of our launches – 3oz item of your choice, delivered to the moon. Note, this item cannot be returned to you – Your name or logo displayed on our rocket for all flights. We will provide HD pics and video of the name/logo prior to launch, and during ignition (if possible)

    Est. Delivery: Dec 2012

————————————————————————————-

This gives anyone a chance to get involved in the moon rush, even with a thin wallet.  Here’s what I suggest…

  • Family, Space Club, School groups or homeschoolers or the like can send the names of their members into orbit!
  • Make a reward-level donation in someone elses name as a Christmas gift.
  • Do it as a promotional stunt to draw attention to you or your product (my plan).

The funding project closes this coming on Wednesday though, so if you want to help with it you have to move fast.

Do you have an idea for a donation angle?  Please comment.

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~ by Bill Housley on December 10, 2011.

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