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U.K. Group Crowdfunds Their Mission To The Moon, Details Here

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Lunar Mission OneYou really can crowdfund anything these days. Big filmmakers have turned to this avenue as a way to fund movies studios and other traditional investors pass over, all kinds of gadgets and gizmos would never see the light of day without this strategy, and you even see all kinds of businesses acquire their start up capital this way. You can even finance your trip to the Moon if you’re so inclined, which is a feat that one intrepid group of would be space explorers just successfully accomplished.

The U.K-based collection of scientists and engineers known as Lunar Mission One recently hit their target goal of 600,000 pounds (roughly $1 million U.S.) on Kickstarter, reaching their goal with more than a day to spare (they ultimately hit 672,000). With more than 6800 backers, their ultimate aim is to send a robotic probe to the surface of the moon in order to drill and perform research.

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This Canadian Company Is Crowdfunding A Mission To Mars

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Beaver rover

Beaver Rover

When I think of the past, current, and future space powers, a few different countries and agencies pop up. NASA, of course, and the ESA, Russia, JAXA, China, India. It wouldn’t occur to me to put Canada on that list, although one might argue that astronaut Chris Hadfield is a space force unto himself, but Canada is trying to put itself on the cosmic map by landing a couple of robots on Mars later this decade. Interestingly, it’s not the Canadian Space Agency that’s behind this plan—rather, the brains behind the idea belong to Thoth Technology, and the company intends to crowdfund the mission.

Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular approach to bankrolling space missions. The U.K. Lunar Mission One Kickstarter campaign is nearing its final week, and Planetary Resource’s Project ARKYD was funded the same way. Thoth Technology has launched an Indiegogo campaign for its Northern Light Mission, which seeks to raise over a million dollars to put a lander and a mini rover on Mars.

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Reading Rainbow Kickstarter May Also Shine On Consoles And Mobile Devices

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We report a lot of different stories here at GFR; some make us happy, and some don’t. But it’s rare that we get to write about something that makes me as happy as this week’s hugely successful Kickstarter campaign to resurrect Reading Rainbow. If you haven’t been near the internet in several days, LeVar Burton took to the popular crowdfunding site Wednesday to launch a campaign to resurrect Reading Rainbow on the web, and for free in classrooms across the country. They hit their goal of a million dollars before the day was even through, resulting in the following emotional thank-you video from Burton recorded as it happened. (And if it doesn’t choke you up a little, you’re a monster.)

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TMNT Banished Seeks Funding For Edgy Turtles Fan Flick

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are returning to the big screen this summer, courtesy of director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles). Unfortunately, the film has been doggedly pursued by bad buzz from the very start, ranging from early script leaks, to negative reactions to the redesigned Turtles themselves, to general malaise at the involvement of Michael Bay (even though he’s only producing, not directing). If you’re a Turtles fan who isn’t loving the look of the new feature film, a new TMNT fan project seeking crowdfunding might be more up your alley. You can check out the brief teaser video for TMNT Banished above. If nothing else, it’s nice to see the classic Turtles design again, rather than the upcoming movie’s freakish Shrek faces.

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Crowdfunding Mission Seeks To Resurrect ISEE-3 Space Probe

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ISEE-3A long time ago (1978) in a galaxy…well, pretty close to us, NASA launched the ISEE-3 (International Sun/Earth Explorer 3) probe, sending it to space to study the magnetic field and solar winds of Earth. Since then, ISEE-3 has done NASA proud, accomplishing firsts such as flying through a comet’s tail. It collected data until 1999, when NASA decided it would party no more and switched it off. It’s been sleeping ever since, but if a crowdfunding project turns out to be successful, NASA may wake the ISEE-3 up as it passes near Earth later this year and put it back on the job.

The ISEE-3 Reboot Project, which is sponsored by Space College, Skycorp, and SpaceRef, is currently running on RocketHub. It’s currently a third of the way to meeting its $125,000 goal, with 22 days left to fund the project. The idea is pretty simple, especially since a team has already been assembled, and they’ve got a radio telescope that can make contact with the probe. Scientists working on the project want to contact the probe, which is now generally known as the ICE (International Comet Explorer), fire it up, and get it back in orbit around the Earth where it can continue harvesting information and chasing comets.

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G.I. Joe Writer/Artist Larry Hama Crowdfunding Cyberpunk Action Series Ghost Source Zero

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Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have proven to be a huge boon for modestly budgeted projects with big ambitions. Aside from simply affording creative sorts a new model with which to put their stuff before the public, it’s also created an intriguing middle ground where fans and traditional media creators can collaborate to make cool things — hence a Veronica Mars movie arriving later this year, some seven years after the show was canceled. The Ghost Source Zero Kickstarter probably isn’t going to rake in millions, but it is a cool story of a genre vet teaming up with one of his die-hard fans to make something new.