We are LightSail
This is it! Our final day for our Kickstarter campaign
Dear Planetary Explorers -
"...we are LightSail." This quote posted by one of our backers yesterday really struck me as I think about how this community has grown-up with this year's test flight of our prototype, LightSail-A. It was a risk we took to share this process so publicly, but it was absolutely the right choice to make. We all learned together, and most importantly, we learned from YOU. When things went haywire, members of our backer community messaged and commented ideas, some of which were sent on to the mission team for consideration. Others, such as the amateur astronomy and radio communities jumped in to get us photos, video and download data packets. This was so valuable that we will now create a part-time position for next year's launch to help us activate these communities even more and involve them in our mission plan.
But, of course, that's what democratizing space is all about, and that's what the Planetary Society is all about—empowering the world's citizens to advance space science and exploration. Through projects like LightSail, we will reduce the cost and increase the access to planetary exploration and, in doing so, to learn more about the cosmos and our place within it.
This campaign has far exceeded our expectations, and we are now within reach of our final stretch goal of $1.24 million. We are less than $100,000 away from funding some key upgrades to the project to ensure mission success in 2016. I think that we have the momentum we need. We will need it to be a big day, but with over 21,500 backers and more being added by the minute, we can do this!
So, if you have been on the fence about the reward you've chosen and are considering something else—perhaps just a little bit higher?—or thinking about an add-on, then this is definitely your day to make that choice. We've done our best to have interesting options, many of them available as a direct result of backer requests. If everyone increased their pledge by as little as $5, we would make it.
Onward... to the finish!