These days, it seems like its easier to find alien planets hundreds of lightyears away than to get funding for space research here on Earth. When your space research happens to be the search for extraterrestrial signals from outer space, that funding can be even more elusive. It’s become so elusive that SETI superstar Jill Tarter has “retired” from the hunt for alien life in an effort to dig up more sources to fund the potentially reality altering mission. Thanks to a generous donation by a space outreach organization with a unique business model, the SETI Institute has hit its first payday in the search for terrestrial funding.
Uwingu is a company whose entire aim is to raise money for all types of space science and research. Through Indiegogo funding drives and an unnamed product that will “game-ify space” (a concept that has proven its worth with Zooniverse), Uwingu plans to generate cash flow directly into the space science and technology projects that could use it. Just last Wednesday, the company announced that fundraising was going so well they would be able to start donating money ahead of schedule, with the first wad of cash going to none other than the SETI Institute. In the announcement, SETI’s Jill Tarter talked about how important Uwingu’s mission and funding are to future of space science.