7/25/18 A new goal for our final 24 hours
We’ve exceeded our $60,000 stretch goal and are now pushing beyond. With momentum on our side, we want to stretch even higher to see if we can reach $70,000.
If we can reach our new goal, the Society will be able to create a Planetary Defender Digital Tool Kit for volunteers, members and backers to use to help raise awareness of the asteroid threat.
As we’ve said throughout our campaign, this is much more than a campaign to create beautiful space art and cool merchandise for sale. We want to create a community that will help us educate the public about the danger that asteroids represent and influence policy-makers and legislators to take action. An asteroid impact is the only natural disaster that we have the ability to prevent—but only if we prepare in advance.
We’re Funded—Time to Stretch!
Thanks to all of our backers, we’ve already exceeded our $50,000 goal. So it’s time to reach higher with our effort to save the world from an asteroid impact. Our stretch goal will add another $10,000 (for a total of $60,000) in order to fund an online course to learn more about the asteroid threat and how to be a Planetary Defender.
This class will be our second online course (our first course, Space Advocacy 101, is already available on our website), and it will equip backers, members and anyone among the general public to become actively involved in saving the planet by raising awareness of the asteroid threat.
This deep dive into Planetary Defense will be developed in 2019 by Dr. Bruce Betts and our Education and Outreach staff, and we will share it free to all of our backers. Help us reach our new goal!
Kick Asteroid Poster Complete!
Thomas Romer has done an incredible job with our Kick Asteroid post. The first four panels illustrate the impact that asteroids have already had on life on Earth:
- Chicxulub 65 million years ago a 100 million Megaton city-sized asteroid hit what is now Mexico. That impact led to the extinction of 70% of all species on Earth and the extinction of the ancient dinosaurs.
Meteor Crater 50,000 years ago, a 40 Megaton (50 meter) asteroid hit what is now Arizona and left a one kilometer hole in the ground.
Tunguska On June 30, 1908, an approximately 3 to 5 Megaton asteroid exploded in the atmosphere above Siberia – it leveled part of a forest. Known as the Tunguska event, it is estimated that the explosion knocked down roughly 80 million trees in an area 50% bigger than the city of Los Angeles.
Chelyabinsk In 2013 a .5 Megaton asteroid about the size of a big house (18 meters diameter) exploded in the atmosphere above Chelyabinsk, Russia causing a shockwave that shattered windows and injured more than a thousand people.
The final panel represents the top three deflection techniques: The Kinetic Impactor, The Gravity Tractor, and The Nuclear Option.
Kick Asteroid: Planetary Defenders, Earth Needs You!
The Planetary Society is excited to partner with space artist and designer, Thomas Romer, and backers around the world to create Kick Asteroid—a colorful graphic poster that will illustrate the effect of past catastrophic impacts, and methods to deflect future asteroid threats. Compelling and scientifically accurate art will be created for posters and other “merch” that backers can use in their everyday lives to spread the word about planetary defense.
Asteroid and comet impacts, while not common, are very real threats. By backing this project, you can help spread the word about asteroid defense. You will be doing your part to protect the people of Earth from a devastating impact.
Sharing and wearing this Kick Asteroid art, you will be a Planetary Defender. These pieces will be “conversation starters” for important discussions about asteroid threats. And the funds generated will help pay for important planetary defense initiatives at the Society.
To complement our Kick Asteroid poster, we have created a new Be a Planetary Defender webpage that will share information allowing citizens everywhere to take action, joining with you and our growing alliance.
Partnering with backers around the world, we will create art that will inform and inspire action to address the asteroid threat.
Designing Planetary Defense Materials
Thomas is collaborating directly with the Society’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Bruce Betts, to depict the asteroid threat in a compelling and scientifically accurate way. Bruce has briefed Thomas on the current state of the science related to Near Earth Objects (NEOs), as well as on the most promising asteroid deflection techniques.
Thomas and Bruce have been hard at work hashing out promising approaches, with the strongest design showing five panels that illustrate both the devastation of past impact events as well as the most likely methods of stopping the asteroid threat in the future.
Here is Thomas’ preliminary poster design
Here's an example of Thomas' preliminary design for the panel illustrating asteroid deflection techniques:
And here's what the next stage in the design process looks like with the Chelyabinsk impact event in final form:
Throughout the campaign, Thomas revealed each of the final versions of the panels in a series of updates, until the entire final poster was assembled and complete. Here's how the first four panels fit:
Backers have followed along with the process, providing comments and feedback as it all came together.
Thomas' final work is a stunning, fully rendered poster similar to his other spectacular space exploration designs.
Who said that saving Earth can’t be rewarding? When you join up, we’ll send you some fantastic rewards such as our Kick Asteroid poster, stickers, t-shirt and lots more.
Even more rewarding will be the impact that you can have as a Planetary Defender when you wear and share your cool posters and swag. You’ll raise awareness about the asteroid threat and recruit friends, family, and colleagues to join our alliance to save Earth!
Kick Asteroid Stress Reliever
Just for fun, we're offering this Kick Asteroid Stress Reliever to squeeze incessantly or just to toss around the office.
Kick Asteroid Sticker Set
Thomas will create a set of four Kick Asteroid stickers including one logo (seen here) and three impact events including Chicxulub, Meteor Crater, and Tunguska.
Kick Asteroid Patch & Pin
Pick up our patch and pin set to add to your flair!
Kick Asteroid T-Shirt
Kick Asteroid t-shirt featuring the official logo and the hypothetical Kinetic Impactor deflection method.
Kick Asteroid Pennant
Kick Asteroid Dinosaur Bundle
We hope you’ll love this new Dinosaur Bundle as much as we do. When you pick this reward level you’ll get a Remember Chicxulub T-Shirt, one Chicxulub sticker, one Kick Asteroid sticker, and a Stay Unextinct Steve pin.
Here's a close-up of the Dinosaur Bundle Art:
Join the Society with choice of T-Shirt
Not a member of The Planetary Society? Join us! You can receive an Explorer-level Planetary Society Membership with either the Kick Asteroid t-shirt, the Remember Chicxulub t-shirt or our popular "Your Head is The Sun" t-shirt (also designed by Thomas Romer). You'll select which tee when you complete the post-campaign backer survey. As a member, you’ll enjoy special privileges including a personalized membership card, subscription to The Planetary Report magazine, invitations to special events and your name sent to space on select missions. We’re your place in space!
Kick Asteroid Screen Print
Kick Asteroid Completely!
A few people have asked about a full collector's set, so we've added Kick Asteroid Completely! Don't miss this special bundle which includes the Kick Asteroid Sticker Set, the Pin & Patch set, the Pennant, the Kick Asteroid T-Shirt and the Screen Print.
Kick Asteroid Custom Portrait - only 10 available!
Chop Shop Studio will create a one-of-a-kind Kick Asteroid Custom Portrait for you or someone you love. We will work with you to supply us a headshot that will work for us to reference for likeness and you can even tell us which national flag should appear on the arm patch.
Final result: We'll send it to you as a 16 x 20 framed print and a high-resolution png file!
Note: almost all of our rewards will ship anywhere in the world (fees will be added at checkout), but backers are individually responsible for any local customs fees.
So, What About Add-Ons?
To add one or more rewards on to your Kickstarter pledge, follow these steps:
- At the top of the Kick Asteroid! Kickstarter page, click on the “Manage your pledge” button. Or, if you haven’t yet pledged, it will say “Back This Project.”
- Increase your pledge in the Pledge Amount box by the dollar total for the add-ons you would like to include. For instance, if you have pledged $28 for the t-shirt and want to add $15 for the sticker set, your new total will be $43 ($28 + $15 = $43).
- You do not need to change the tier of your current pledge. If you do change your pledge level, you will need to add the total for your add-ons to the amount for the new tier that you have selected.
At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you will receive a post-campaign survey that will ask you questions about your rewards (things like t-shirt sizes and such), and you will be able to explain how you would like to apply the extra pledge dollars.
Do I need to add shipping and handling?
Unlike the reward itself where shipping and handling are added separately, shipping and handling for add-ons must be included in your pledge amount. Shipping and handling are generally included for backers in the US. Additional funds due for international shipping are specified with each add-on. We’ve provided a handy table, below, which provides the amount to add to your pledge, including shipping.
We’ve got great news for a number of backers who have been asking whether Bill’s autograph could be added to additional versions of the poster. We have three versions that don’t already include it:
- Kick Asteroid Screen Print ($75)
- Early Bird: Kick Asteroid Screen Print ($100)
- Kick Asteroid Completely! ($186)
For an add-on of $100, we will include Bill’s signature on the print in any of these three reward levels.
Want to Learn More?
If we've piqued your interest, back or follow this project to get updates with deep-dive backer briefings on:
- The Asteroid Threat & The Need for Planetary Defense
- The Planetary Society's 5-Step Plan to Stop the Asteroid Threat
- How Amateur Astronomers Are Making A Difference
How can you help?
Join our movement and be a Planetary Defender!
There’s no time to spare! With your help, the Society is gearing up to do its part. There are many things we can be doing to help protect against asteroid threats and we want to give you awesome artwork that helps you spread the word.
The most important step right now is simple: be aware and share. The more people who know about the asteroid threat the better. Educating the public will, in turn, guide the world leaders who will then be inspired to fund the research we need now and the asteroid deflection missions when the time comes.
By backing this project, you can engage with others about asteroid defense. You will be doing your part to protect the people of Earth from a devastating impact.
About The Planetary Society
We are passionate space fans like you who join forces to create our own missions, nurture new science and technology, advocate for space, and educate the world—all to advance space exploration. We’re your place in space!
In 1980, Carl Sagan, Louis Friedman, and Bruce Murray founded The Planetary Society. They saw that there was enormous public interest in space, but that this was not reflected in government, as NASA’s budget was cut again and again. Today, The Planetary Society continues this work, under the leadership of CEO Bill Nye, as the world’s largest and most influential non-profit space organization. The organization is supported by over 50,000 members in over 100 countries, and by hundreds of volunteers around the world.
Our mission is to empower the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration. We advocate for space and planetary science funding in government, inspire and educate people around the world, and develop and fund groundbreaking space science and technology. For more information, or if you would like to join at one of our higher levels, you can also head over to www.planetary.org/membership.
About Chop Shop & Thomas Romer
Thomas Romer is the designer, illustrator, and founder of Chop Shop Store and Studio based in Philadelphia, PA. The shop specializes in t-shirts, posters and other merchandise while the studio has over 20 years of experience in interactive, animation, illustration and design. Partners include Public Radio International, Radiolab, SETI, Yuri’s Night and The Planetary Society!
Speaking of which, Chop Shop is also the host of The Planetary Society's own online store which can be found at www.planetary.org/store.
About the Art of Screen Printing
Screen printing is an age-old method that involves a manually pressing a single ink color on to the paper through a highly detailed stencil affixed to a mesh. Each poster goes through this process four times (once for each color, including the glow) and hand-produced by an actual human being well-versed in the technique. For more about the process, please take a look at this explainer website at MoMA. Click “enter” and then choose “Screenprinting” in the nav. Then hit, “Press Arrow to Start” to watch the process, or you can try and actually grab the tools and simulate the process to better understand. Thomas also designed and programmed the site for MoMA around 2003 when he was better known as The Chopping Block.
An Archival Digital Giclée print is a high-quality print that is made-to-order here in our studio. These prints are produced with archival inks on archival papers and have an expected display life of about 60-100 years.
For more information about the fantastic studio responsible for the actual screen printing, check out Vahalla Studio in Kansas City. They have a great portfolio which includes many high profile designers and clients like Phish, Wilco, Sony Pictures, Cirque Du Soleil, and more.
Risks and challenges
Of course, the BIGGEST risk for this Kickstarter campaign is the risk that we will fail to act and not prepare for the low-probability, but high-consequence, event—the impact of an asteroid or comet!
For The Planetary Society, there are many fewer risks than with our previous LightSail Kickstarter as there is no chance that our project will blow up on the launch pad! Designing a poster, after all, ain’t rocket-science. :-)
A few project risks are worth noting, especially since the Society encountered difficulties in the LightSail project with fulfilling memberships. At that time, we expected to be able to directly import the names of backers into our database, and that turned out to be highly problematic due to issues with the Kickstarter and Backerkit data structures not being as sophisticated as our data systems for our membership program. In the end, we had to have information on 23,500 backers manually checked in our system, which created a very significant time delay. To avoid that issue in this campaign, we will be emailing a link to each backer who becomes a member that will allow them to log into our website and redeem their membership directly. This will allow us to entirely side-step this issue.
There are other risks that could occur with the timing of product manufacturing and fulfillment, but the Society has very intentionally partnered with Thomas Romer and ChopShop not only because of his design skills, but because he has managed multiple Kickstarter projects, as well as other crowdfunding efforts, and is an experienced fulfillment agent.
- (30 days)