A History of Kickstarter in Space

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We love space — its potential, its unfathomable limitlessness, the ways in which it inspires people to think things they've never thought before. Simply put: space makes you dream big. Over the years, we've seen many amazing, space-related Kickstarter projects, huge, small, real, speculative, and everywhere in between. Here are just a few of them.


Lunar Mission One is sending an unmanned mission to the South Pole of the moon — a largely unexplored area — and in the process, bringing along a capsule of digital memories and physical human materials (you can send along a strand of hair, for instance). The project is transforming the way that space exploration happens by removing the need for a huge investment from national space agencies, and putting the power in the hands of individuals instead. 

Kansas City SSEP Mission 5 Rocket

Earlier this year, a group of middle-schoolers designed an experiment to send to space (it was about whether rust occurs on a nail in microgravity). They launched the experiment on July 13th, and rendezvoused with the International Space Station! Read about the launch details here

Plasma Jet Electric Thrusters for Spacecraft

Prototype projects are an important part of Kickstarter, and this plasma thruster is a great example. For years, HyperV has been building, operating, and deploying plasma accelerators of many different shapes, sizes, and power levels (they show many of them off in the project video). This project was for the development and demonstration of a prototype plasma jet thruster that could be used for orbital maneuvering and much more. It's about taking existing technology and making it more robust.


The ARKYD is a space telescope that's controllable by anyone. That means that backers could search for asteroids, look at distant galaxies, or examine our own solar system from the ARKYD. And another thing: you can also send a picture of yourself to it, which means space selfies with the Earth as a backdrop, using the ARKYD's camera arm. The project is not yet complete, but you can follow its fascinating story in the updates

1000 Student Projects to the Edge of Space

Between this project and its twin brother, hundreds of tiny student art- and science projects from all around the world (all fitting inside ping pong balls!) went to circle the Earth in weather balloons. We have been following these two projects with great interest — here's an amazing picture of one of the balloons mid-bursting.


One of several satellite projects on Kickstarter, the ArduSat is a hackable Arduino satellite designed to open up space exploration to everyone. You can create your own experiment and then send it to space to run; after about a week, the data returns to you. In 2013, it deployed from the International Space Station. 

The Intergalactic Travel Bureau Tour

What space roundup would be complete without an imaginative look toward the future? The Intergalactic Travel Bureau Tour is a series of posters about the speculative future of space travel — it's basically a travel agency for space transit. The posters are beautifully designed, with whimsical calls to sight-see on Mars or book your dream vacation on one of Saturn's moons. Because if there's anything this roundup proves, it's that space exploration is all about what we can imagine.

    1. Chop Shop on

      Oh my. What about my Historic Robotic Spacecraft Poster Series?! A great sadness has enveloped me. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chopshopstore/historic-robotic-spacecraft-poster-series

    2. Niina Pollari on

      We love your project! This is more like a partial history -- we had to leave out many wonderful ones, or the list would have just been too long.

    3. Chop Shop on

      I know — I saw the headline and thought, “now I have to be in there”… Oh Kickstarter… you are a roller coaster ride! I dig everything you do.

    4. Raising talents Uganda on

      As Raising talents Uganda would like to be part in this.

    5. Raising talents Uganda on

      This is so perfect press on

    6. Dylan Waller on

      This is awesome and perfectly timed. I'm going to share it on the Quest Scouts Facebook Page. (Scouting for adults, wherever you live.) Our current quest focuses on launching- Kickstarter, outer space and more. Check out out live campaign if you're interested. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1406180454/quest-scouts-help-us-blast-off-and-print-our-badge

    7. Gerry Infante on

      Thank you Dylan for sharing this page! It's very motivational!!

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      Ed Mullen on

      How does Kickstarter vet these "projects"?? For example, sending a lander to the moon to examine subsurface soil takes $billions. How is a few million in funds going to help that? Where is this project going to get the rest of the money from? Does Kickstarter vet these projects at all? Until I have solid evidence that a project has the necessary financial backing behind this I would be a fool to send them my money.

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