Exosphere and the Open Hardware Shuttle Project
The funding goal may not have been reached, but this will not stop the project from moving forward. The goals and milestones may be adjusted to our funding availability, but it will not cease. This project is too important for us to allow an unsucessful funding round stop the growth and development.
Our team will begin discussions in the coming week about the new goals and milestones of Exosphere for the short term. We will work together to come up with a better plan and a more well laid out campaign.
Our project is appearing this week in Space Safety Magazine and will also be appearing in other news in the coming weeks. The momentum is growing and we need to work together to keep it moving toward a free and open space program for all humankind. join us on our website, twitter, facebook, or locally to become a part of this great movement.
Find us online:
Or contact us locally in Orlando Florida via our website.
Once again, thank you for showing your support for the space program and the open hardware project.
[Exosphere will be working on a secure maker space platform over the coming months and will most likely seek funding through the crowd, but with more limited financial goals.]
Show your support for space by sharing this project right now on all your social media using the buttons above. Thanks! You rock!
Click here to go to the video, see it in our update section, or watch it in our gallery. Update video from the Exosphere team meant to clarify the initial funding goal for the crowdfunding campaign they launched on indiegogo. Improper specification of the funding goals in indiegogo has led to confusion about the ability for the project to complete the project with the funding amount. By explaining the secure online makerspace they intend to create, the team hopes to clear up any confusion brought on by their lack of clarity from the beginning.
"More than anything, our goal is to help you visit space in your lifetime. Because space belongs to everyone."
Don't forget to check out the stretch goals and funds allocation.
What is the open hardware space shuttle project?
The open hardware space shuttle project is an effort to bring the masses together to work on a spacecraft that can be owned by anyone. (Government regulations apply) The goal is to design and build a modular, reuseable, and affordable space vehicle. Governments are the only ones that had access to space until recently. Privatization of space has opened the possibilities up for everyone.
The main problem we all have at this point is the means or ability. There are no shuttles we can own, yet. Private companies have a lot of capital invested in their designs and need to get a return on those investements. Because of this, the price for a ticket is higher than the annual salary of almost all Americans. By completing a design together - with Exosphere to ensure government regulations, safety standards, and testing are done properly - we could all have the ability to go to space in our lifetimes.
What are the main goals of the project?
- Keep the design as open as legally possible.
- Utilize the help of everyone to create the best design possible.
- Modularity - It is easier to upgrade modules than entire shuttles.
- Make the shuttle completely reuseable.
- Use as inexpensive and renewable - environmentally as well as financially - a fuel source as possible.
- Inspire and teach a whole new generation.
- Craft capable of carrying a payload of up to 8 passengers.
- The vehicle will travel from earth to low earth orbit.
- The vehicle will have orbital docking capabilities.
Please leave comments for us about any perks you would like to see. There is always room to add perks later, so your input is extremely valuable.
All of our perks are going to be custom designed and produced. These are limited time only collectors items. We will not produce these items again.
Informed & Wristband
Every person who donates to the project will be put on the email list. You have the right to be removed from the list at any time.
Contributions of $10.00 or more will also receive a silicone wristband that has the impression "#OpenSpace Project" in white on a black band. It will look similar to the one we mocked up below:
Mission Patch Plus
Contributions of $25.00 or more will receive the above plus a mission patch. The mission patch will be designed by a professional with the input of the community. We have made a mock up mission patch to give you an idea of what to expect. (But, we are not artists.):
Collectors Coin Plus
Contributions of $100.00 or more will receive all of the above plus a collectors coin limited to this crowdfunding campaign. The coin will be stamped and plated with gold. We will rely on input from you to help finalize the design. We have added here a mock up of the coin, but the final coin is likely to be very different. (Better!):
Super Enthusiast Plus
On top of everything above, we are going to have a plaque made for you. The inscription will be a name of your choosing. It will thank you for the contribution not only to the project, but to the advancement of space in general. We plan on having plaques of the highest quality made. It will be similar to the mock up below, but we will be seeking input from all contributors for the final design:
Major Player Plus
We want to show you how special it is to us that you would contribute this much to our campaign. Therefore, we are going to give you everything above plus a VIP pass to all major testing and launches of the spacecraft. The only stipulation is government regulation. We really appreciate your support! Here is a mock up of what the VIP pass may look like:
Super Star Supporter
Wow! You really love space as much as us! We are extremely grateful for your contribution. In order to show you how much it means to us, you will get everything above plus a visit from our founder. Mr. Blanchard will come to a school or organization of your choice and do a presentation on anything space related. Adequate notice is necessary. Thank you so much for the support!
My name is Zechariah Blanchard. I am a 31 year old father of two wonderful children. (Don't all parents say that?) I have been a space enthusiast all my life. Growing up I watched every episode of Star Trek, every Star Wars movie, and just about any other movie dealing with space. I had the pleasure of growing up near Pratt & Wittney in South Florida and often spent late nights watching the NASA rocket tests light up the dark horizon. Being second of six children we didn't have the ability to go to actual shuttle launches, but that didn't stop us from watching them from the front yard as they laid a trail overhead. I still rewatch old launch videos with awe.
Recently, I was invited to Kennedy Space Center for the Grand Opening of the Atlantis Exhibit. It was so inspiring to be within literal reach of a space shuttle. The dust was still on the tiles! What an day. I even had the chance to see the Saturn V exhibit. That rocket is bigger in person - and it's pretty big on tv. The whole experience helped further solidify my passion.
Space is the future of our species. We can't survive here on earth forever. Our planet is far too fragile. We don't like to talk about it, but we have been very lucky up to this point.
Most people don't think they can do anything in the space industry without a lot of money. I used to feel the same way. That's exactly why I became a serial entrepreneur. The goal has always been to open a space research and development company.
My vision is of a future where we don't fight over land or resources. The type of future where there are no fears of sickness or disease. A future full of exploration; with something new to be learned from every turn. We work together in this future. Think about that for just a second: 7 billion people working toward the same goal - to make the lives of everyone better. What an amazing time we live in.
For a long time I thought the only way for everyone to have access to space was to make a ton of money and put it all into the space industry. (But, investors don't take it very well when you give away technology they paid to develop. Not to mention, that wouldn't exactly be legal, either.) Well, I have worked many years to get here. At this point it isn't possible without your help.
Here we are. This is the dream I have wanted to share with the world since I was very young. Please, share the dream with me. I know together we can make it a reality.
The early time of the project was probably about fifteen or so years ago. That is the point when the founder made the decision to open a space research and development company. In the beginning it was just conversation. We didn't know how it would happen. None of us had any money, and we didn't know anyone with enough to help us. Years went by as we discussed the types of technology the company would create. The discussions kept going back to needing to keep the technology free - sort of like Franklin did with the lighting rod.
The biggest problem with the project all those years, was the money. We didn't know how we were going to share our passion without the proper funding. The founder started opening businesses one after another with the intention of saving up enough money to start Exosphere (at the time it was called Intergalactic Innovations, Inc. or I^3). Years went by, but the money didn't show. In comes crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding on a site like indiegogo gives the ability to share your passion and deam with the world. This is the point at which we knew where the money was going to come from. So, we got to work. Days turned to week, and weeks turned into months. There were some hiccups along the way. We originally intended for the project to be global, but US regulations prohibit the sharing of space technology information with anyone other than a US citizen. This was a real downer. We lots a considerable amount of steam.
But, after a few days, we realized that we needed to push forward. We looked for a solution and found one. We can launch the project in the US only. Down the road we can work on reform. It may take years, but it will happen eventually. More time went by as we worked on the video, the graphics, the networking. Most people don't know how much work goes into this type of project. 14 hour days are the norm.
The months helped the project collect up a lot of great people, some citizens and some not. Due to the regulations, we can not work with our foreign friends on the project, but we will stay in touch and collaborate as much as regulations permit. At this point we have a great group of scientists, engineers, and other specialists working on the project. Some of them should be making introductory videos in the coming days.
Here we are now, at the launch of the worlds first open hardware space shuttle design project that will be crowdsouced and crowdfunded. You will help make this shuttle a reality. We will be able to do it for less money because you and all the other people that are getting involved.
Where will the project go from here? After successful funding we will be able to hire specialized scientists and engineers to work fulltime on the project. We will begin to connect teams of engineers, university interns, and specialists for the years ahead. Each group will be given a module to complete. Teams will be able to assist one another. People will learn from each other. We will create the online workspace or find one readymade to suit our needs.
In a few years we should have a completed design and can begin the rigorous process of testing. During this time our teams will still be working to make the design better. Eventually, we will get clearance to build and fly our first shuttle. It will be a momentus day. The sun will be shining, it will be cool outside, and the bugs wont come out to play. The world will watch as the shuttle that we designed as a nation lifts off the ground and flies to orbit for the first time. Though, that is only the beginning.
These are the goals we should all be fighting for. There will be special bonus prizes for all contributors if we meet the stretch goals. One additional prize for each stretch goal. So, make sure you get your friends involved!
One Million Dollar Goal
The one million dollar goal will provide us with enough funding to hire three to four fulltime scientists and/or engineers. These funds will go directly to paying salaries and other necessities of the project. The money may also go to helping us raise more funding down the road if it is needed to further advance the project.
Ten Million Dollar Goal
Ten million dollars may seem like a lot, but in the space industry it doesn't go near as far. This money will help us carry the project for the entire development and testing. Along with this ten million, we will seek further contributions over time, as well as corporate sponsorships. The monies combined will be enough for us to fully fund the design, construction, and testing of a space shuttle. All monies will go directly toward advancing the project and the project goals.
Why should I contribute?
You have the opportunity to be a part of history. This is a project that has the ability to change life as we know it, forever. If you have ever wanted to venture into space, but thought it was out of reach, this project brings it to your doorstep. We can pull the future into the present by working together. Your contribution is so important to the success of the project. Without contributions from you and your friends we wont be able to make this project a reality. We need to build the future, together.
If you are on the fence, shoot us over a message and we would be happy to talk to you. Even if you are not on the fence, we would still be happy to hear from you!
Are there other ways I can help?
Whether or not you contribute to this project we need you to show your love for the space program by sharing it with everyone you know. Help us get the word out. Share on facebook, twitter, myspace, linkedin, klout, google+, and anywhere else you can imagine. If you are on a forum all the time, let people know. Put it in your forum signature line.
Post up fliers at a local school or store. Make videos and upload them to youtube. Contact your favorite bloggers, youtubers, news anchors, and facebook pages. Help us get the word out. We need your help letting people know about this promising project. If people like you don't share the project... it may never get off the ground. (Pun intended)
Make sure to use the share tools here on indiegogo. By sharing from here it helps let indiegogo know that you care. When enough people care they will help publicize it, too. But, in order for them to put it out there for publicity, you have to share it! Share it now! Pretty Please. (Thank you!)