Have you ever wondered if there are other planets like the Earth out there? This question has been exciting people for centuries. But until now we were able to learn about what is happening in the research field just by reading scientific publications and articles on the topic. The ability to get involved in the discovery of such a scale seemed unthinkable for many until recently. What changed?
Project Blue Space Telescope Crowdfunding Campaign
We are witnessing slow, yet certain alteration in the matter. A proof for the upgrowth of the possibilities for large crowds to participate in the funding of the next wave of scientific discoveries has appeared as the ambitious Project Blue launched its crowdfunding campaign, aiming to raise at least $1 million until Dec.21, 2016. The campaign is raising money to create small space telescope that is specifically designed to look for Earthlike planets around our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri. The telescope will be designed to take small blue dot photos of the space objects, as the blue may indicate the existence of an ocean or an atmosphere that might be surrounding this space object or planet.
It is known that just in our Galaxy there are many planets that are thought to be potentially habitable, yet it has been difficult to particularly determine if these planets have more congenial Earthlike properties (water and oxygen). This highlights the need more extensive research to be conducted, which is precisely the mission of Project Blue Space Telescope – to give the scientists detailed information about the planets, enabling them to gather and see more specific details about the composition of these objects.
As the project’s Kickstarter page reads, the raised $1 million will be used for “the groundwork for the mission through preliminary analysis, design, and simulations”. If the goal is exceeded, the team has more extensive objectives list that focuses on testing other components of the project, aiming to the improvement of the concept and execution plan and the start of manufacturing key components.
The Project Blue team is led by Dr. Jon Morse, former NASA director of astrophysics and the CEO of BoldlyGo Institute. “We’re at an incredible moment in history, where for the first time, we have the technology to actually find another Earth,” Jon Morse said in a statement. “This is a new kind of space initiative — to achieve cutting-edge science for low cost in just a few years — and it empowers us all to participate in this moment of human discovery.”
Why is it exciting?
Through crowdfunding it is becoming more than just a dream for people to participate in such an exciting initiative. The public is now able to give their support to the ambitious project of looking for planets like ours in space.
Now we all have the chance to feel even partly the excitement, which Howard Wolowitz felt when he became part of the NASA project that he participated in. Well, we may not be going to space, but definitely it would be a great feeling to know that through the collective power of the society groundbreaking projects can be executed successfully.
The supporters of the project will have the chance not only to feel personally involved in such important for the human race endeavor, but also will get the chance to receive some very cool perks, identifying them as Mission Flight Crew Members, Mission Specialists and even Mission Commanders.
All of this makes us look at the possibilities that crowdfunding brings to the table. Through crowdfunding, people are able to re-shape the way scientific projects are financed, taking the whole process to a new level, more independent from government programs and the financing of wealthy individuals. It is interesting times that we live in!