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We're bringing an astronomical observatory with a giant hand-made telescope to Burning Man 2018.
172 backers pledged $11,473 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$11,473

172

We’ve been at this for a while now. 

Desert Wizards in 2013
Desert Wizards in 2013

Thank you all so much for your amazing show of support. We are truly honored.  

Stretch Goal: $15,000  

You may have noticed that Black Rock Observatory is not a non-profit, meaning that we are unable to provide our donors the ability to make their donations tax-deductible (there is actually a way to do this, but it requires going through a non-profit fiscal sponsor, which takes yet another chunk out of the donated amount as a fee). 

 More importantly, we are unable to apply for grants from most foundations and companies who would otherwise be able to support our mission. 

 If we can make our stretch goal, we would be able to hire the lawyers and pay the application fees to make this a reality. There are a few other things on our wish list: 

  • A closed trailer to safely store our domes and scopes, without having to pay for storage space or unload and reload all the gear every time we go to an event. 
  • A new and more compact dome designed to fit our telescope. 
  •  Seed funding for our mutant vehicle, a truly mobile scope built to last. 

Black Rock Observatory started in 2014. In the past four years, we’ve been bringing the wonders of the cosmos to numerous events in Mexico, China, Burning Man (Nevada), Oregon, Colorado and of course, California. We have a special fondness for inspiring kids, and this year we want to make it even more exciting by bringing science experiments and presentations specially designed to teach and inspire young minds. 

 The road has been a long one. You helped make this happen through Kickstarter campaigns in 2014 and 2015, and we haven’t asked for money since. Now, we need your help again. We take science and astronomy where isn’t. We’ll always be BLACK ROCK OBSERVATORY because we were born in Black Rock City, NV, home to Burning Man, but we’re going places. Our mission is to make “wow!” We connect people with the universe. In order to do this, it takes money. 

 Our original installation is starting to show its age. We’ve brought views of the universe to over 50,000 people and the long and dusty road has rendered our original installation almost un-buildable. Although the patina is quite charming, it’s time to upgrade and repair some of our equipment, and create some new and exciting experiences for you. We’ve learned a lot over the last 4 years, and we want to keep showing people the sky. We need YOUR help to do that. In 2014, Kickstarter and Burning Man made my dreams come true. The only city that was crazy enough to let me be an astronomer hosted what might be one the greatest public observatories ever created. This was because of the enthusiasm of the community. A community that enables ideas and values science. And a community of bad-ass scientists. 

 Science. It’s gotten us this far.

 Please know that we can NOT do this without you. Hopefully, we’ve shown you the rings of Saturn or the Galilean moons of Jupiter. If that experience inspired you, I’d like to invite you to support us once again. This year, we have a unique opportunity to view the planets in our Solar System. Jupiter, its moons and Saturn will be prominent, but this year we get a special chance to see Mars. A rare perihelic opposition of Mars is happening this Summer which will give us amazing views of the Southern polar ice cap and our telescope rocks so much, we can show you the largest volcano in the Solar System. Mars will be closer to Earth than it has been in 15 years. The universe is filled with Stars, Galaxies, Nebulae, Planets and Moons. All of these are concentrations of energy, matter and heat. 

 I think the universe is daring us to come together, to unite. While the void is essential and seemingly stores unseen magic, it’s the places, it’s the concentrations that give it all meaning. Atoms like atoms; people like people. Stars like galaxies and moons like planets. Let’s do this together, just like the universe. 

 Our mission is to bring space to the people. After thousands of miles of travel and countless visitors, it’s time for us to get our affairs in order. Hopefully, we’ve shown you the rings of Saturn or the Galilean moons of Jupiter. If that experience inspired you, I’d like to invite you to support us once again.

Risks and challenges

Transportation and depreciation seem to be our biggest hurdles. Each year, we spend around $5,000 on transportation alone and that's just for Burning Man.

We finally managed to scrape together enough to buy a vehicle (93 Suburban we call the BROdozer) that will help us transport the dome to the playa and beyond. It has already lasted through the past year's season, but it needs some upkeep. We're having a starter replaced in it now.

Fact is, there's not a lot of money in Astronomy, especially when you give it away for free. We're a tourist office for the rest of the universe. Support us if you can.

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Support

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    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Down for the cause!

    Down For the Cause. GIVE ANY AMOUNT YOU'RE COMFORTABLE WITH, but give what you can. You don't need material things, you're a space monkey ready to be shot into space for the greater good. Where else can you give to a good cause and be a patron of both art and science for $1? Give what you can and get access to special Supporter Photo Gallery with exclusive behind the scenes photos and videos.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Black Rock Observatory Bandana

    Black Rock Observatory Logo Bandana (great for a dust mask or space piracy). You can even use it to find your way back to camp. Seriously though, just get a 3M n9211 for your dust mask.

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    Black Rock Observatory Patch

    Sew it on to your fanny pack and get your butt kicked on the way to school or be the cool hero-geek hanging with the cool kids at Burning Man.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Black Rock Observatory T-Shirt

    A quality T-shirt with the Black Rock Observatory Logo, see photo. Because DPW looks cool in those black shirts and why should they have all the fun? Blacker than the blackest void of deep dark space. Get access to an exclusive Kickstarter Supporter Photo Gallery with behind the scenes photos and videos.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Hoodie!

    Very High Quality Zipper Hoodie with the Black Rock Observatory logo made from the fabric of space-time by aliens. For those cold nights dancing under the stars on the playa. Get access to an exclusive Kickstarter Supporter Photo Gallery with behind the scenes photos and videos. Add $25 for international shipping

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Package Deal

    Black Rock Observatory logo Hoodie + Tshirt + Bandana + Patch. As if you don't already look geeky enough. Fly your nerd flag high. Real high. Add $25 for international shipping.

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Funding period

- (25 days)