Crowdsourcing the Mission to Mars

In April of 2010, President Obama made a speech at the Kennedy Space Center on the subject of the US Space Program, which included a $6 billion budget increase in order to meet several goals, including the desire to send astronauts to the asteroids and Mars itself by 2010.

In order to meet this challenge, NASA advertised to the scientific community looking for ideas on how to reach the Red Planet (especially, affordably) by the year 2030. The expectation when they launched the crowdsourcing site was that they would receive somewhere in the realm of 200 professional responses.

Instead, NASA received somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 responses – nearly double their expectation. These ideas will go through a first round of review and those that survive the first round will be presented next week at NASA’s Mars Program Planning Group meeting. Should some of these plans for Mars exploration be viable, NASA may implement some of these crowdourced suggestions as early as 2018.

We love to talk about space exploration here at IdeaScale. We’ve talked about SETI and mapping the universe. But it turns out that space exploration is one of the industries that is regularly implementing crowdsourcing solutions. I found this list of other space exploration crowdsourcing opportunities:

Radio Jove
SETI@home
Stardust@home
Dawn Clickworkers
NASA World Wind
My NASA Data
Elevator:2010
Astronaut Glove Challenge
PlanetQuest Collaboratory
Google Lunar X Prize
Vision Workbench
Great World Star Count
Galaxy Zoo
ISS EarthKAM
HiRISE Clickworkers

What do you think about crowdsourced professional Mars exploration? What other crowdsourced space exploration programs do you know about?

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