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Crowdsourced Space Program?


notfruit
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It could work for something like building a cubesat and buying a secondary payload launch slot, but for anything bigger, the sums involved are simply beyond the capability of crowdsourcing. 99% of people don't give a damn about space.

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It could work for something like building a cubesat and buying a secondary payload launch slot, but for anything bigger, the sums involved are simply beyond the capability of crowdsourcing. 99% of people don't give a damn about space.

This, pretty much. Unless you can devise some low cost mission that captures the public imagination in a rare way, crowdsourcing just can't produce enough fiscal resources for any sort of non-trivial mission. The best you could hope for is raising a bit of seed money to develop a mission from back-of-napkin to a bit more in-depth feasibility study.

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Crowdfunding isn't a good business model for an ongoing business, it's good for raising capital for a product launch or a startup, but after that you need to have a conventional way of generating income. In space that either means you're in the business of satellites, or you're doing science and exploration with funds granted by a benevolent government. What would investors get for their money? There's a limit to how much money you can raise from pure benevolence.

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Lets take the assumption above that only 1% care about space. Lets assume only 2 billion of the 7 billion people on earth are in a position to aid a kick starter project. That means there is 20 million people who would fund the mission. If we then assume that each person gives $20 that then the total raised is $400 million, enough for 3-4 falcon 9 launches. In conclusion something could certainly be achieved but it would not be the new NASA.

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Lets take the assumption above that only 1% care about space. Lets assume only 2 billion of the 7 billion people on earth are in a position to aid a kick starter project. That means there is 20 million people who would fund the mission. If we then assume that each person gives $20 that then the total raised is $400 million, enough for 3-4 falcon 9 launches. In conclusion something could certainly be achieved but it would not be the new NASA.

Your 1% number is wildly optimistic, IMO. Far fewer than 1 in 100 people with disposable income care enough about space to donate $20.

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Neil Degrasse Tyson is the spiritual successor to Carl Sagan, IMO.

That Titan quadcopter mission is certainly interesting. Interplanetary is extremely expensive, though, have you seen a cost estimate for the mission? Or are they still in the conceptualizing phase.

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