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NASA Space The Almighty Buck Science

Space Scientists Looking To Crowd-Fund Planetary Exploration 90

The Bad Astronomer writes "The White House budget for NASA in 2013 is bleak, with big cuts in many areas. None is worse hit than planetary exploration, which got slammed with a 20% reduction. Several top-notch space scientists have taken matters into their own hands, looking to create a privately-funded alternative for space exploration. Called Uwingu — Swahili for 'sky' — they're hoping to get seed money to create a program which can generate millions in donations to explore our solar system. Astronomer Pamela Gay has more info at her blog, Star Stryder."
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Space Scientists Looking To Crowd-Fund Planetary Exploration

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  • by Flipstylee ( 1932884 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @05:34PM (#40834727)
    I like what SETI is doing, but we're talking actual science here, the kind that allows us to learn.
    In order to conduct science, we need to fund it. Rant aside, this is important enough that i for one will contribute to the cause. AstronomyCast FTW.
  • I will donate! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nrrqshrr ( 1879148 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @05:37PM (#40834753)
    Only if I recieve a souvenir from another planet.

    But then again, if everyone was to demand a souvenir in return, it might be easier if NASA became a business that sold space souvenirs.
  • by Nyeerrmm ( 940927 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @05:51PM (#40834939)

    You're assuming its an investment, not a donation. A decent planetary science mission will cost $500M in NASA dollars. Take out federal procurement and the endemic requirement growth and you can imagine a worthwhile mission for $300M.

    As Ed Lu (B612 Foundation CEO who is launching the Sentinel mission) pointed out in a recent talk, this is an equivalent amount to a new wing in an art museum -- not insignificant, but not impossible. The conversation he had with a fundraiser went like this:
        Fundraiser: "So you can really launch something into an orbit around the sun???"
        Ed Lu: "Of course. You can really raise $300M in donations???"

    A science mission won't return a monetary investment, and no one should expect it to. This doesn't mean that you can't fund it as you would other public works projects.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle