Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 1, 2012.

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Captain Picard was the greatest starship captain in history, but he's never actually been to space. Help us send him there on a balloon

UPDATE - OUR NEW LOGO!

               (What the view looks like from where we're sending Picard.)

Captain Picard was the greatest starship captain in history, only he never actually made it to space. We want to change that!

HOW ARE WE GETTING PICARD TO SPACE? We've teamed up with a group of young people who are experts at sending stuff to the edge of space on small high altitude balloons. They've already sent a few of these up (not with any Star Trek ships or captains though) so we're confident they'll be successful.

ARE WE ACTUALLY SENDING UP PATRICK STEWART? The next best thing: an action figure of his character Captain Jean-Luc Picard. And this action figure is the real deal. He's been around the world and even met Patrick Stewart, but hasn't gotten to space yet. By sending this action figure to space, we'll be symbolically sending the actual Captain Picard to space and I don't think any of us Star Trek fans could ever die before seeing that happen, right! I know I couldn't.

And I was serious about this action figure being the real deal. Here's his own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CaptainJeanLucPicardActionFigure

WHO'S WE? I'm Logan Kugler, a passionate space enthusiast, and Shannon Downey is the woman behind the action figures' Facebook adventures.

ARE WE SENDING CAPTAIN KIRK UP INTO SPACE, TOO? You better believe it! This is going to be a dual launch. We're going to build a model of the USS Enterprise D, stick Captain Picard on the bridge and then directly on the other side of the capsule we're going to have the original USS Enterprise with a Captain Kirk action figure standing on the bridge. Three cameras will be going up! A dual 3D rig to film the Enterprise-D with Picard and one to film the Enterprise NCC-1701 with Kirk, both in their own separate videos. It's a complex rig, but will be worth every penny!

UPDATE: Picard and Kirk aren't going to ride alone! Aboard the USS Enterprise-D, we're also going to send Riker and Data! Aboard Kirk's ship, we're going to send two more familiar characters, who of which will remain a surprise.

ANYTHING ELSE SPECIAL ABOUT THIS LAUNCH? We're going higher than just about every other high altitude balloon launched. Most go to 80 or 90,000 feet and just about all of them cap at 100,000 feet. We're going in style all the way up to 120,000 feet!

We're also going to record it in 3D! Using two GoPro HERO 2 HD cameras in a special 3D housing, we'll capture this historic flight in full 3D high-def glory. In fact, this will be the first time ever that an object is recorded in 3D from near-space. Last year, someone sent a 3D camera up into near-space but only recorded the Earth below which limited its 3D effects because the angular differences in 3D cameras are far too small to resolve cloud shapes. Since we're filming actual objects attached to the balloon, we expect the 3D effect to be pretty awesome.

WHAT DO WE NEED $2.75K FOR? To fund all of the launch costs associated with paying the experts to make this happen. In addition to the non-reusable materials that we need to buy, we also have to pay for the models of the two USS Enterprise ships, the capsule and rigging to be built, the experts to drive dozens or hundreds of miles to collect the capsule upon re-entry, as well as to have a video editor make a short video with great music that makes it all look awesome. Plus, an extra large balloon and additional helium (that stuff is expensive) is required to go to all the way up to 120,000 feet. Then there's the cameras and other tech gear we need to rent. There's no profit in this for us; everything goes into the launch. In fact, we'll more than likely end up kicking a bit of our own money into this in addition to our time.

Should we exceed the $2,750 goal, we will pour every penny back into this project. Anything above and beyond $2,750 will just give us more freedom to make this awesomer and allow us to get even more creative and go even bigger. The stars are the limit.

Help us send the greatest starship captains to ever exist into space!                

   (Here's what the 1" communicator button looks like for the $40 reward tier)

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    Copy of the final production video of Captain Picard's historic flight into near-space

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    Special behind-the-scenes footage of Captain Picard's historic flight into near-space

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    *JUST ADDED* We're going to fly a few Star Trek communicator buttons in the capsule. You'll get one of these special Star Trek buttons that have been to near space on a mission with Picard and Kirk! INCLUDES shipping. (In the backer updates, we'll post a photo of the 25 buttons that fly while they're sitting in the capsule as proof that they went on the trip.)

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    "Producer" credit in the video which will be uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo and spread across the web

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    "Executive Producer" credit in the video which will be uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo and spread across the web

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    An invite to the actual launch that will take place in central Illinois

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    We're sending both the USS Enterprise D with Captain Picard on the bridge AND the original USS Enterprise with Captain Kirk on the bridge into space at the same time -- this is a dual mission! If you contribute $500, you will get the actual Captain Kirk doll that goes up into space! Imagine the bragging rights of owning a Captain Kirk doll that has been to the edge of space!

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    Get the actual USS Enterprise NCC-1701 model that is featured in this launch and video and goes up into space with Captain Kirk. This is a model of the brand new and updated NCC-1701 featured in the 2009 Star Trek movie.

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