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Richard Chute - Headshot

We Love A Crowd!

Posted by Richard Chute

14-05-2015 17:43 CDT

Topics: citizen science, Planetary Society Projects, LightSail

This month, at the same time that The Planetary Society is launching the long-anticipated LightSail prototype for a shakedown cruise, we are excited to launch another “first”—our first-ever Kickstarter campaign. For some time, it has appeared clear that the movement toward on-line crowd funding would be a natural fit for The Society. It matches our approach both to technology projects—where we focus on incubating innovative ideas—and to fundraising—where we rely primarily on the power of our large membership to help us to reach financial goals. You see, we’ve actually been “crowd funding” ever since we started in 1981.

The LightSail project is a quintessential example of The Society’s approach to raising funds and it even takes them a step further. It will marry together two innovative technological developments: small, inexpensive CubeSats and free, inexhaustible propulsion on beams of light provided by our own sun. LightSail will help to democratize space by opening-up new, financially accessible pathways to the exploration of our solar system and perhaps even other stars so that more people can create more projects more of the time.

Crowd funding centers around the idea of community. It amplifies the power of the individual by allowing us to combine our resources to reach a greater goal. Through the Kickstarter campaign, we hope to connect with the Kickstarter community—some 7.8 million strong since it popped onto the scene in 2009—and to attract some of them to join our tribe of space enthusiasts.

I hope you will join me in welcoming this new development, in welcoming what we hope will be a crowd of new Planetary Society members, and in embracing this avenue for making gifts to support our projects. Take a moment to watch the project video, below, and then follow the link see our project which just went “live” this week. Our goal was ambitious by Planetary Society standards—$200,000.  But, with your support and the power of the crowd, we have already shattered that goal. We are now reaching for the stars!

I can’t wait to back the LightSail project. Join me!

Richard Chute

Director of Development

See other posts from May 2015


Or read more blog entries about: citizen science, Planetary Society Projects, LightSail


FarAwayLongAgo: 05/15/2015 07:24 CDT

Great project, to actually develop a revolutionary new space transportation systems in a micro satellite and minimal budget way! These dollars are very well invested in the future of all of life. You should tell your pet dog, if you have one, that this is a good thing for her offspring too.

aspaceman: 05/22/2015 12:56 CDT

Hey I am looking to throw some funds at our space project here, just want to know what the Lightsail Tshirt looks like before I choose that one or not, has it been designed yet? Thanks

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