About this project
# Introduction to the main project (stretch goals at the bottom)
The Intergalactic Travel Bureau is a live, interactive, science-theater experience that explores the incredible possibilities of space tourism. It’s a little bit like Virgin Galactic and Space X meet the Jetsons and Mad Men.
The Bureau pops-up wherever it is needed and is staffed by professional actors, who play the role of space travel agents, and professional astronomers, who play the role of resident scientists. People of all ages are invited to plan the vacation of a lifetime - to another planet. Once you’ve decided what type of trip suits your needs - be it adventure, romance, or relaxation, our travel agents customize a space vacation package for you in collaboration with the resident scientist..
We’ve done it before, and now we need your help to take the Bureau on tour across America and Britain.
We want you to tell us where to go along the way. As part of this campaign, if you support us, you’ll get to vote where we go. We believe everyone deserves to dream of the stars.
# Who are we?
We are an experienced team of science communicators, event planners and scientists. Our vision is to revolutionize how audiences experience science through live events that connect people with science in new ways:
Olivia Koski is a laser engineer and head of community at Creatavist.
Jana Grcevich is an astronomer and educator at the American Museum of Natural History.
We created the Intergalactic Travel Bureau to help people learn about the incredible possibilities and challenges of space holidays.
Over the last three years, we’ve run the Bureau in New York, London and San Francisco. We’ve been supported by NASA, the American Physical Society and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Scientists from Princeton, UC Berkeley, and the American Museum of Natural History have taken part. You can read about us in the New Yorker, on NPR and in Wired.
# How it will work
We want to take the Travel Bureau on tour across America and Britain, popping up in the places you least expect us: free festivals; disused store fronts; street markets.
Initially we'll set up in New York, after which, the travel bureau will make its way round America and Britain (by rocketship, of course).
Most importantly, YOU get to decide where we go. Once you donate, we will email you a link to vote. Voting results will be posted on The Intergalactic Travel Bureau website.
On tour, we'll adapt the event to the surroundings in which we find ourselves, traveling with a pop-up marquee, sets and props. When we’re lucky enough to find them, we take over unused stores and buildings (always with permission from the owners). We recruit local actors and scientists to help staff the Bureau, and leave them with everything they’ll need to run the event again.
We have a wealth of experience, a team of talented event producers, and a huge amount of interest and support from the scientific community.
# Join in
We need your help to make this happen. It costs money to produce these unique, personalized experiences. We need to travel, buy costumes and equipment, print postcards and posters, and spend months preparing.
We want to help everyone be part of the future! For supporters who want the Travel Bureau to come to them, we’ll plan our route to accommodate you. For supporters who just want to produce the event themselves, we’ll provide a kit for you to run your own travel bureau (scientists and actors not included). For supporters who are just happy to see us succeed, we’ll send you your very own piece of original space art (delivery times from Jupiter may vary).
The greater your support, the more say you have in where we go (destinations restricted to the US and Britain). For every dollar you pledge, you get a vote in saying where we go. At the end, the destination with the most votes wins. And, for every $10K beyond our goal, we’ll add another destination.
# What the event will be like
The Travel Bureau will set up shop in an accessible, fun area of whatever town you send us to. We’ll either take over a shop, or build a pop-up event space, or integrate ourselves in some other way. We’ll be open 9am-5pm, just like a regular travel agency, and we’ll hang around until business dries up (4-7 days). If there's enough demand, we may even stay open late for some star-gazing!
# Stretch goals - new space art that you decide!
We've done it! Thank you so much for all your support. The Intergalactic Travel Bureau is going on tour.
But. We want to tour everywhere, so we're reaching for the stars with stretch goals!
If we reach $30K, our collaborating artist, Steve Thomas, is going to do a new, entirely original piece of space travel art just for this campaign. Art that you can get as a reward for your pledge!
Choose from the following exciting destinations, or suggest one of your own:
- Party the Great Red Spot on Jupiter - This party has been raging for over 300 years and is still going strong. Join fellow interplanetary ravers as they dance in view of the swirling gasses, floating in the super-gale force winds.
- Sailing the Solar Wind - Unfurl your solar sails and catch winds made of light itself. If you're brave enough, take a daredevil plunge through the plasma arches!
- Spacetime Stretch at Sagittarius A* - Take a one way trip the Universe's most singular experience, the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Enjoy the warped view before gravity stretches you into spaghetti.
- Hot Mess of an Exoplanet 51 Pegasi b - Leave the solar system behind for sweltering heat and glowing gas. As if Jupiter fell in love with the Sun, it cozies right up next to its host star, and the intense radiation heats up its atmosphere until it escapes in a gigantic comet-like tail.
- Deep Sea Exploration on Europa - Deep under the thick, craggy ices of Europa lies an ocean waiting to be explored by intrepid astro-mariners. You might even find something alive in the abyss.
We're asking all pledgers, past and future, to cast their vote on this, and where to take the Travel Bureau Tour itself.
# Stay in touch
Thank you so much to all the talented editors, filmmakers, musicians and artists: Charlie Williams, Johan Bichel Lindegaard, Matthew Koski, Zarinah Agnew, Steve Thomas, and Rose Eveleth.
Thank you to all the scientists who have taken part over the years and made this happen: Hanno Rein, Viviana Acquaviva, Lucianne Walkowicz, Katherine de Kleer, Reneé Hlozek, Josh Peek, Katie Peek, Or Graur, Jeremiah Murphy, Juan Ibañez, Steven Mohammed, Greg Smye-Rumsby.
Thank you to all the charismatic actors: Kaitlin Prest, Mitra Kaboli, Mark Gilman, Dave Mosher, Ferris Jabr, Liz Stevens.
Thank you to our generous sponsors and supporters on previous projects: The American Physical Society, NASA, Chashama.
Finally, special thanks to the inspirational Jenny Jopson, the original travel agent!
Risks and challenges
Touring is a huge, exhausting endeavor. A successful tour will rely on the help and goodwill of the local actors and scientists that staff the Bureau. It will require us to be able to travel efficiently and on schedule. We’ll need the Mars Authority to keep their visa-waiver program in place.
That said, we’ve been putting on events like this for the best part of a decade. We’ve worked at rain soaked music festivals, ancient castles, and in World War II bunkers. We put in place contingency plans and have backup staff. In short, we know what we’re doing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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