The Golden Spike Company, a private business planning to put humans back on the moon by 2020, has joined other uber-tech-hip start-ups by landing on the Indiegogo crowdsourcing platform. A goal of $240,000 -- "a dollar for every mile from the earth to the moon" -- is a drop in the bucket compared to the estimated $7 billion dollars the company needs for hardware R&D.
Golden Spike says the campaign will enable the company to start creating interactive media products, apps, and an "Olympics-movement" style membership program to engage people in exciting ways, to be "insiders" in the future exploration of the Moon by people, according to the company's post.
"We want to bring the next wave of lunar exploration onto your big screen TV, onto your laptop and mobile devices, and into your social networks too, with all the excitement of car racing, professional sports, and Hollywood," says Golden Spike. "These won't be your daddy's 20th century Moon landings—they are going to be yours—21st century style."
A mere $10 gets you a thank note on Golden Spike Stationary to frame or print. For $25, you get to be put on the company's "First Explorer" mailing list for future updates and an e-badge to go on your website, social media bits, and e-mail. Additional levels up to $1,000 get you opportunities to "nominate" a name for test missions, trinkets such as a customer briefing booklet, a desktop lunar globe and your name and a short message to be left on the Moon.
Big spenders at $3,000 can have five features near the Golden Spike's first landing named for friends and family to go on official Golden Spike astronaut crew maps. Ten thousand dollars gets a "beautiful desktop model" of the Golden Spike concept design human lunar lander, while $50,000 gets you all of the above and an all expense paid trip for two to the first Golden Spike space mission launch as VIP participants.
Using Indiegogo allows Golden Spike to raise some quick angel-style cash for project starts and to gauge the amount of grass-roots support it can generate. Part of Golden Spike's future "value" is in advertising naming and broadcast rights, so being able to show real-world data and build a mailing list of enthusiasts is considerably valuable.
I suspect Golden Spike shouldn't have too much trouble raising the initial $240,000 goal by an April 24 midnight PT deadline. After all, you had over 34,000 people sign a White House petition to start construction of a Death Star, followed by dueling groups of Lucas fans starting Kickstarter campaigns to fund a Death Star and squadron of X-Wing fighters. What Golden Spike really needs is to rope in a few high-profile Hollywood-based space enthusiasts like Seth Green and Tom Hanks to spread the word, promote its cause, and kick in a couple of bucks.
Edited by Rich Steeves