For years, we've entrusted the future of space exploration to public agencies and they have done a great job. NASA was able to land on the moon, send a rover to Mars, and make a satellite out of Android phone with public dollars. Unfortunately, governments aren't as invested in space anymore. That's where the private sector comes in.
A new start-up called Uwingu is hoping to fund the future of space exploration through selling educational software and other space related products. Through these sales, they will set up the Wingu fund. The fund will be put toward the next generation of private space exploration, research and education.
Like any start-up, they need some help to get off the ground. SpaceX had the advantage of being funded by the founder of PayPal. Uwingu has no such luck, and has therefore turned to the increasingly lucrative crowdsourcing model.
The Uwingu Indiegogo campaign has raised over $63,000 so far, but requires $75,000 in up front capital to keep going. The campaign only has four more days to go, but they remain confident that they'll be able to hit their target.
If successful, this may be the first crowdfunded scientific endeavor. Advances in science and technology are usually funded by governments, corporations or private investors. A lot of people obviously love the idea of space travel, and would happily give money to make it happen. I'm honestly surprised that somebody hasn't tried to appeal to the public before this.
All of this only proves that NASA needs to host a Kickstarter campaign. Nerds love NASA and the Internet is full of them. Riding off the momentum of the successful Mars Rover landing would ensure crowdfunding success.