Crowdfunding the Future of Science, Technology and Space Exploration

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Have you ever wondered why we haven’t sent another human being to the moon since the 70’s? Well there’s a few reasons but one of the biggest factors boils down to one thing. Cost!

What if crowdfunding could change all of that? What if cost was no longer an issue? Just imagine the possibilities.

When it comes to understanding science, astrophysics and the universe we’ve come a long way throughout the years. As a human race we’ve made some extraordinary leaps & bounds in regards to science research & inventing some of the most innovative technology. We’ve sent manmade objects out into the universe, such as the Voyager 1, for the purpose of expanding our horizons and obtaining a better understanding of what’s out there.

However, what we have accomplished to date pales in comparison to what we could accomplish going forward. In just a very short period of time the crowdfunding industry has already had an impact on practically every type of industry imaginable. So why not space exploration? Crowdfunding opens the door to endless opportunities and can very well be a key catalyst when it comes to raising more readily available funds for the execution of more advanced research for space exploration.

We all know the universe is massive and has even been expanding at rapid rates for some time. To give you an idea of just how big, did you know for example that our earth alone could fit into the sun 1 million times? The true size of the universe is unfathomable really and we’ve barely even scratched the surface when it comes to not only knowing what’s really out there but exploring it first-hand.

Throughout the years funding for science research, space technology & exploration has come from various different sources such as fundraisers, taxpayer dollars and government contributions. But let’s face it, sending unmanned objects let alone spacecrafts carrying humans into the galaxy isn’t cheap. Hopefully thanks to crowdfunding we’ll soon be able to send a lot more than just slices of pizza into orbit!

Speaking of which, such bold endeavours are already beginning to be attempted. A team of students at Penn State University launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the Lunar Lion project with one of their goals aimed at being the first private entity to ever land a spacecraft on the moon. Wow! And you can bet your last crowdfunding contribution dollar that this is only one of the first of numerous space exploration based crowdfunding projects we’ll see going forward. It’s crowdfunding campaigns such as this that are already starting to set a precedent and helping to pave the way for a whole new era of scientists, engineers, researchers and future leaders in the field of space exploration & discovery.

Not only can crowdfunding help to fund such exploratory endeavours, it can also help reduce the cost in some areas when it comes to particular space related missions. Take for instance asteroid mining which for over a century has been thought of by many as only something possible in science fiction stories. Truth is however, extraordinary and very real developments have been taking shape in this area for quite some time.

One efficient way to take on such missions includes the use of 3D printing technology. Instead of spending billions or trillions of dollars sending massive space stations into orbit, why not reduce the amount of material & groups of astronauts (not to mention cost) needed to accomplish such goals. The concept of 3D printing has been around for some time but we can’t deny that crowdfunding has helped not only to fund the improvement of such technology but also catapult 3D printers into the mainstream market – thus reducing the cost.

As global population rises certain essential resources are quickly dwindling and asteroid mining could very well be the answer to helping sustain our human race.

Here’s a direct quote from Wikipedia on the topic of asteroid mining:

“Based on known terrestrial reserves and growing consumption in developing countries along with excessive exploitation by developed countries, there is speculation that key elements needed for modern industry and food production, including phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, silver, lead, indium, gold, and copper, could be exhausted on earth within 50–60 years. In response, it has been suggested that platinum, cobalt and other valuable elements from asteroids may be mined and sent to earth for profit, used to build solar-power satellites and space habitats, and water processed from ice to refuel orbiting propellant depots.”

What exactly the future has in store is anyone’s guess. One sure thing though is that the crowdfunding industry is expanding at an astronomical rate and hopefully as a result so will our knowledge and understanding of the universe.


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