Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 12, 2013.

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Sharing the future of space travel and the capabilities of the VASIMR® engine with you.

The amount of support that we have received from our followers is absolutely phenomenal. Today we reached our second stretch goal of $75,000! With this new goal, we will now animate an additional mission for the documentary. The new mission chosen is the "Jupiter Slingshot Mission". The VASIMR® engine is designed to deliver a 4,000kg payload to Jupiter in just 2.8 years, instead of the 5 years for current spacecraft’s, such as Juno, to arrive.

Thank you for everyone's continued support. The campaign will end today at 11pm CST.

We are launching this campaign to fund the creation of a short documentary called "Animating VASIMR®:  The Future of Spaceflight."

Vea el video con subtítulos en Español

Ad Astra Rocket Company was started in 2005 when a group of NASA scientists decided to pursue the commercial development of a revolutionary propulsion system that will dramatically change space transportation and exploration. Among other crucial applications, the technology could provide a capability to save the world from an asteroid! The system that we are referring to is called the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket. Yes, that is quite a mouthful, so we refer to it simply as the VASIMR® engine.

You are probably  familiar with the huge rockets that lift payloads from earth's surface into space. These rockets all use some form of chemical combustion to produce thrust. They are impressive to watch and they are still the only way to reach low-Earth-orbit. However, once traveling at orbital velocity, chemical rockets become very inefficient. This is where electric propulsion and the VASIMR engine® come in.

Like the fifth gear of an automobile transmission, electric rockets are designed to operate at very high velocities. They are more efficient in space and use far less fuel than their chemical counterparts. Many electric propulsion systems have been invented in the past, but none are as powerful as the VASIMR® engine.

Just like powerful diesel engines economically propel our trucks along our highways, the VASIMR® propulsion system would propel a space truck capable of moving very large loads efficiently in outer space. Its unique capabilities make it ideal for a variety of different missions, such as:

(click in each image for a detailed explanation of the mission).

Would you like to know how it is that we are planning to execute these missions? Would you like to understand how our scientists are beginning to plan a mission that has the potential to deflect an asteroid that could pose a threat to our world? Or perhaps you are more interested in how we can actually capture asteroids, some of which are considered to be valuable sources of raw materials.

Well, you are not alone! Since its inception, Ad Astra Rocket Company ("Ad Astra") has received thousands of emails from people asking about our technology and our capabilities. However, all investments received by Ad Astra are dedicated specifically to the development of the VASIMR® engine and the company technologies associated with its development. Because of this limitation, we decided to create this Kickstarter project and produce a ground-breaking documentary specifically aimed at answering the public's questions by describing the multiple applications of the VASIMR® engine in the future of space travel. As you can see in our profile, we have already produced stunning (and mechanically accurate) images for many of our missions. In our documentary, we are planning to animate those images and have our CEO and former astronaut (veteran of 7 space shuttle missions), Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz, narrate them to you. 

Our technology is not science fiction. It has been under development for nearly four decades, and we are approaching the final stretch. We are hoping to have our first engine in space around 2016-2017. Allow us to show you a video of one of our rocket firings. This particular rocket (VX-200) has been fired tens of thousands of times and it's performance is impressive!

The VASIMR® Engine
The VASIMR® Engine
Ad Astra Houston
Ad Astra Houston

Ad Astra Costa Rica
Ad Astra Costa Rica

We also want to take advantage of this opportunity to announce that we will soon be launching our new Ad Astra Website. We are currently in the process of uploading all the information to the new site which should be ready later this month. Here is a preview of our new home page. 

New Ad Astra Website
New Ad Astra Website

$60,000: Help us spread our message! We will produce an additional 200 copies of our documentary and distribute it through colleges and universities around the world. We will produce an additional 100 copies for every $10,000 dollars provided through the Kickstarter Project.

$75,000: We will animate an additional mission! We will reveal the mission at 1000 supporters or $40,000 dollars. Here is a clue: A mission was launched in 2011 to reach this planet, but the probe will take more than 5 years to arrive.

Mission Revealed: The $75,000 mission is the "Jupiter Slingshot Mission". The VASIMR engine can deliver a 4,000kg payload to Jupiter in just 2.8 years, instead of the 5 years that it takes for current spacecrafts, such a Juno, to arrive. Ad Astra achieves this mission by getting navigating its's VASIMR powered spacecraft close to the sun and getting a very high amount of power in it's solar panels. This allows it to accumulate enough energy to achieve Jupiter in substantially less time.

$100,000 A longer documentary! We will dedicate more time and associated costs to the production of the documentary and increase its length and amount of detail. Things that we would add include the actual launch vehicles that would take our spaceships into orbit, additional footage of Ad Astra facilities and side by side comparisons between the VASIMR® engine and other types of electric and chemical rockets that will illustrate the pros and cons of our engine. This would truly allow us to produce a world Class film.

Keep on going! Any funding received by the company in excess of the targeted amount will be applied the development of the VASIMR® engine.

You can add these additional items to your pledge by following the instructions below. Note that all add-ons require a base pledge of $10 or more. 

Ad Astra Patch: Official Ad Astra Rocket Company patch -$10 Delivery: October 2013 Add $1 for shipping to Costa Rica and $2 for all other international destinations.

Polo Shirt: Exclusive Kickstarter Limited Edition -$30 The design of the shirt will be selected by you and our other backers by voting for your favorite design through our Facebook page. Delivery: October 2013 Add $5 for shipping to Costa Rica and $10 for all other international destinations.

Coffee Mug: Exclusive Kickstarter Limited Edition -$25 The mug will include 4-5 Ad Astra pictures printed on its surface. Delivery: October 2013 Add $5 for shipping to Costa Rica and $10 for all other international destinations.

Ad Astra Posters: Exclusive Kickstarter Limited Edition $45 At the end of the kickstarter campaign, we will send you a survey and you will be able to choose your favorite poster design. Designs will include team and mission pictures, VASIMR® pictures and even a collage. Delivery: October 2013 Add $5 for shipping to Costa Rica and $10 for all other international destinations.

Ad Astra Hat: Exclusive Kickstarter Limited Edition -$30 The hat will be adjustable in size and will have a stitched Ad Astra logo in the front. Delivery: October 2013 Add $5 for shipping to Costa Rica and $10 for all other international destinations.

Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz will autograph your add-on: Add $25 

 ADD-ON INSTRUCTIONS

To add an add-on to your pledge, follow these steps: 1 Click on the “Manage Your Pledge Button” above. If you have not pledged yet, it will say “Back this Project”. 2. Increase your pledge in the “Pledge Amount: box by the total of the add-ons you want to add. 3. Do not update the tier you are currently pledged at or you will need to add the total of your add-ons to the amount of the new tier. 4. When the Kickstarter campaign concludes, you will receive a survey that will allow you to select how you would like the add-on money assigned.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

1. Timing: Because we are a relatively small company whose priority is the development of the VASIMR® engine, the final product could take more time to produce than anticipated. The continued development of the VASIMR® engine is our most important priority. However, we are planning ahead and organizing the schedule so that the project moves smoothly and expeditiously.

2. Reward Fulfillment: We are relying on external vendors for the production of some of our rewards to be provided. (posters, t-shirts, etc...), Because of this, we can't guarantee that they will deliver the products within the desired timeline or with the desired quality. However, we have taken great care in finding the highest quality and most reliable vendors so that we don't anticipate these type of problems.

3. Team: We depend on different team members to execute the project: our graphic designer, our IT professional, our management team, and of course our rocket scientists, engineers & physicists.

Note: Rewards are not cumulative unless otherwise noted.

Neither Ad Astra Rocket Company (AARC) nor its affiliates or subsidiaries are responsible for lost or stolen rewards, certificates or tickets. Backers are solely responsible for determining any tax liability arising out of rewards provided by AARC. Backers are subject to and must comply with any additional terms, conditions, and restrictions that may apply to specific rewards. Unless otherwise specified in writing in these terms and conditions or on the Kickstarter.com page, AARC is not responsible for providing meals, transportation, or accommodation arrangements that may be associated with claiming a reward.

Certain rewards may be subject to minimum requirements regarding age or other factors. It is the Backer’s sole responsibility to comply with all necessary requirements for the reward as described.

Backers agree to release and hold Ad Astra Rocket Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries harmless against any loss, claims or liabilities arising from Backer’s participation in the AARC Kickstarter Project.

Video Credits:
Music: Dr. D0WNEY
Song: Journey in the Frost

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    The "Hubble" reward kit will grant you our INFINITE GRATITUDE! We will send you a thank you email and we will keep you informed about the project through community updates, pictures and videos.

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    The "Apollo" reward kit comes with a cool Ad Astra magnet with a picture of one of our missions + Official Ad Astra flight patch + Updates of the project with pictures.

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    Our "Centaurs" reward kit includes a digital download of the finished movie + Official Ad Astra flight patch + Updates of our project and an acknowledgement of appreciation from our team!

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    Our "Lunar" reward contains a LIMITED Bronze Edition copy of our Documentary DVD! The DVD will contain an exclusive Ad Astra Cover with a thank you note from our team! Your name will be immortalized as a "Bronze Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your contribution to the future of space travel. This limited DVD will only be attainable through Kickstarter + Official Ad Astra flight patch + Project updates.

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    The "Ceres" reward will get you a Bronze edition of our DVD AUTOGRAPHED by NASA Astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz + project updates + Your name will be immortalized as a "Bronze Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your contribution to the future of space travel. This limited DVD will only be attainable though Kickstarter + Official Ad Astra flight patch + Project updates.

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    31 backers Limited (4 left of 35)

    The "Europa" reward kit includes an SILVER EDITION of our DVD AUTOGRAPHED by NASA Astronaut Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz! The Silver Edition will only be available through Kickstarter and will include extra footage and a unique DVD cover + project updates + Your name will be immortalized as a "Silver Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your contribution to the future of space travel. This limited DVD will only be attainable though Kickstarter + Official Ad Astra flight patch + Project updates.

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    36 backers Limited (9 left of 45)

    The "Asteroid Belt" reward includes an Ad Astra LIMITED EDITION POSTER + Autographed Silver Edition DVD (extra footage and cover) + Project updates + Your name will be immortalized as a "Silver Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your contribution to the future of space travel. This limited DVD will only be attainable though Kickstarter + Official Ad Astra flight patch + project updates.

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    12 backers Limited (8 left of 20)

    Our "Aurora" kit includes a LIMITED EDITION Ad Astra HAT & Polo Shirt + LIMITED EDITION Ad Astra Poster In addition to that, you will also receive a SILVER EDITION (extra footage and cover) of our documentary autographed by Astronaut Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz + project updates + Your name will be immortalized as a "Silver Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your contribution to the future of space travel. This limited DVD will only be attainable though Kickstarter + Official Ad Astra flight patch + Project updates.

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    23 backers Limited (7 left of 30)

    Our "Pluto" offers you an upgrade over the previous reward. For just $15 more your poster will be autographed by Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz and members of the Ad Astra team, making it a valuable collectible.

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    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    Our "Pluto" offers you an upgrade over the previous reward. For just $30 more your poster will be autographed by Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz and members of the Ad Astra team, making it a valuable collectible. Depending on shipping location, your poster will be autographed by the Ad Astra Costa Rica team + Astronaut Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz or by the Ad Astra Houston team + Astronaut Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz. You can be sure that with time, this will become quite valuable! + The "Asteroid Belt" reward includes an Ad Astra LIMITED EDITION POSTER + Autographed Silver Edition DVD (extra footage and cover) + Project updates + Your name will be immortalized as a "Silver Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your contribution to the future of space travel. This limited DVD will only be attainable though Kickstarter + Official Ad Astra flight patch + project updates + Your name will be immortalized as a "Silver Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your contribution to the future of space travel. This limited DVD will only be attainable though Kickstarter.

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    7 backers Limited (3 left of 10)

    The "Mercury" reward allows you to TOUR AD ASTRA'S HOUSTON LABORATORY. One of our scientist will give a tour of our facility, introduce you to the team and show you our plasma engine, and the basic physics of how it works. Our scientists are happy to receive visitors of all ages, from primary schools to PhD scientists.Tours would start in August and continue until the end of the year. (Tour for 1-20 persons) Transportation or hotels not included.

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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    Our "Mars" reward allows you to TOUR AD ASTRA'S COSTA RICA LABORATORY! One of our scientists in Costa Rica will give you a tour of the facility, show you our vacuum chamber in Costa Rica, the Aurora platform mockup, and other work and innovations that we are doing in the advancement of space technologies and renewable energy (from wind power to hydrogen). Tours will start in August and continue until the end of the year. (Tour for 1-15 persons) Travel and lodging expenses are not included.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    The "Venus" reward allows you to add a visit to EARTH University to your Costa Rica Ad Astra Laboratory visit for just $100 more. At EARTH University you will be able to visit the biodigestor that Ad Astra en EARTH have been using for many of their renewable energy projects. (Tour for 1-15 persons) Transportation or hotels not included. Lunch included.

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    4 backers Limited (2 left of 6)

    Now we are talking! The "Neptune" package will get you a copy of our LIMITED EDITION GOLD DVD! This DVD will include a short (2-3 minutes) personalized video message to you delivered by members of the Ad Astra team and Astronaut Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz. The DVD will include a unique Ad Astra cover autographed by Dr. Franklin Chang Díaz. + You will also get a one of a kind autographed Poster from members of the Ad Astra team thanking you for your contribution. + Your name will be immortalized as a "Gold Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your support in the advancement of space technologies. This limited DVD will only be attainable through Kickstarter. + Project updates

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  • Pledge $850 or more
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    2 backers All gone!

    The "Uranus" reward is really special. Get an OFFICIAL POSTER OF NASA MISSION STS-91 autographed by astronauts Charles J. Precourt, Dominic L. Pudwill Gorie, Wendy B. Lawrence, , Janet L. Kavandi, Valery Ryumin, and Ad Astra Founder & CEO Franklin Chang Díaz. This is an extremely rare poster. The space shuttle missions in which Dr. Chang participated represented a major stepping stone in the creation of this project. At the time of the mission Dr. Chang was already working in the technology in the Advanced Space Propullsion Laboratory in NASA. At the time of the mission he was coming up with the first designs of the VASIMR engine and studying it's applications in space. In addition to this this, get the autographed Gold version of our documentary with the personalized message included. + Your name will be immortalized as a "Gold Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your support in the advancement of space technologies. This limited DVD will only be attainable through Kickstarter. + Project updates + Personalized Ad Astra flight patch

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    This is truly unique! The "Saturn" reward will get you a MISSION PATCH FLOWN IN SPACE DURING MISSION STS-34 alongside the official autographed mission poster. The poster is autographed by astronauts Donald E. Williams, Michael J. McCulley, Shannon W. Lucid, Ellen S. Baker and Ad Astra Founder & CEO, Franklin Chang Díaz. This is an extremely rare poster. The space shuttle missions in which Dr. Chang participated represented a major stepping stone in the creation of this project. In 1989, the year of the mission, the first patents of the VASIMR® engine were aquired. In addition to this this, get the autographed Gold version of our documentary with the personalized message included. + Your name will be immortalized as a "Gold Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your support in the advancement of space technologies. This limited DVD will only be attainable though Kickstarter. + Project updates + Personalized Ad Astra flight patch

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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    The "Jupiter reward" is really huge! TOUR THE AD ASTRA FACILITY with Dr.Franklin Chang Díaz. Also get an exclusive Ad Astra Polo shirt and a poster autographed by Dr.Chang Díaz and members of the Ad Astra team. In addition to this this, get the autographed Gold version of our documentary with a personalized video message + Your name will be immortalized as a "Gold Supporter" in our documentary credits as a record of your support in the advancement of space technologies. This limited DVD will only be attainable through Kickstarter. + Project updates + Personalized Ad Astra flight patch (Tour for 1-20 persons) Transportation or hotels not included.

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    Finally, we reach our "Galactic" reward. This reward is a SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY! This is a chance for either you or your company to become a sponsor of our documentary and have your image appear worldwide! In addition to having your logo appear in the DVD box and in the beginning and the credits of the documentary, you will be granted up to 1 minute in our documentary to advertise your products or services. We will make our best attempt to include you in other aspects of the marketing of this documentary, such as press and social media. Ad Astra reserves the right to accept or reject sponsors in order to protect its image.

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Funding period

- (33 days)