Support Open Source Spaceflight

Want to support open source spaceflight, but don’t have time to delve into the whole story?  Click here to skip straight to the “Invest in the Future of Spaceflight” part.

Does This Sound Like You?

Future Rocket Travel

Photo credit: Marxchivist)

  • Do you dream of a world where space travel is common place?
  • Do you have a considered opinion on whether Star Trek or Star Wars best captures what space faring civilizations should look like?
  • Do you love your smart phone, but feel cheated because humanity spent the last 40 years building tiny computers instead of giant spaceships?
  • Are you tired of waiting for NASA or an internet billionaire to make it possible for you to see Earthrise?
  • Do you count watching the moon landing among the most amazing moments of your life?
  • Did you stay up late to cheer with NASA and the JPL (aka the “Jet Propulsion Laboratory”, or  the “Mars Rover Builders”, or NASA’s personal “Team Awesome”) as their sky crane landed Curiosity gently on the surface of Mars?
  • Do you believe humanity will eventually be a spacefaring society, but worry you won’t be here to see it?

If your head is nodding, join the club.

Mach 30 was founded on the idea that if humanity is to become truly spacefaring in our lifetime, we must rethink everything: especially the assumptions that color almost every other human spaceflight endeavour.

The (not so) Secret Plan

Top secret area

(Photo credit: Marcin Wichary)

In the beginning, anyone could make a contribution to the theory and eventually practice of spaceflight.  The Rocket Equation, one of the core principles of rocket science, was developed by a Russian high school math teacher.  Critical research into advanced liquid rocket engines was conducted by volunteers at the American Rocket Society.  But by the 1960s things had changed.  All of the key technologies of spaceflight were locked up behind trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements, and national security concerns with private organizations holding the only keys.  Forty years later, those technological advancements remain inaccessible to all but the richest of newcomers, or governments.

Our plan is to create a new path to space which reverses this pattern of secrecy.  We must create an open spaceflight community.  We will start at the beginning, developing an entirely open source ecosystem of spaceflight hardware and software covering everything from design, to test, to operations.  We will build our own spaceflight facilities using open source systems, and then go beyond current capabilities to reach our true goal of hastening the advancement of humanity into a spacefaring civilization.

Join the Club

This dream is too big for one person, or even one organization, to achieve on their own.

In order for the plan to work, we’ll need thousands of volunteers in hundreds of facilities, with everyone learning about open source spaceflight systems, and contributing to their development.

2014 catalyst badgeWe will need test stands, wind tunnels, data acquisition systems, CAD software, engineering analysis software, and much, much more. Each completed project will lead to another larger one, raising the collective capability of humanity and bringing us another step closer to space access for all.  We will learn to operate these systems safely and accurately.  Every time we teach another team member how to test a rocket motor or a CubeSat, we take another step. We need team members in every state, and every major city, until we’ve built a national infrastructure capable of designing, building, testing, and operating spaceflight hardware.

It’s may seem like a daunting task, but the first step is a simple one:  Build a community of individuals ready and able to work together toward our common goal.

At Mach 30, we’ve noticed nothing gets people invested in the mission more quickly than meeting face to face, coupled with the opportunity to work on open source spaceflight projects together.

To that end, our plan for 2013 is to introduce Mach 30 to as many people as possible and make sure that every volunteer has an open source spaceflight project on which to work.

We can’t do it without you.

Meeting people in person requires travel, whether it be to a Maker Space or a spaceflight conference.  Today our board members and volunteers pay their own travel expenses including airfare, hotel, food, and conference registration, on top of the time off from work which is often required.  This severely limits our opportunity to meet people in person and introduce them to the open source spaceflight movement.

Building projects naturally requires paying for the materials to build the hardware.  At present Mach 30 funds a handful of hardware projects per year.  With your support we can dramatically increase this number so we can support more groups in their open source spaceflight endeavours and tackle a far wider range of spaceflight projects.

Become a Catalyst

If you are ready to set this dream into motion, please become a member of the Mach 30 Catalyst Club.  Just choose a donation level by clicking one of the buttons below.  You’ll be redirected to PayPal where your donation will be processed.

Once you have paid your annual membership fee, you’ll be redirected to the secret Catalyst Club members only page.

Catalysts Benefits

We’re pretty sure you aren’t supporting Mach 30 for the bennies, but we still want to thank you personally for standing up and showing your support for open source spaceflight.  To show our appreciation all Catalyst Club Members get:

  • A listing on the Catalyst Club Members page:  The listing will include your name (or the name of your company) a link to the website of your choice, and space for a personal message from you to open source spaceflight enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Membership in a private Google+ Circle.  Members of this circle will get advanced notice of new projects and will be automatically invited to our weekly hangouts.
  • An entry in a quarterly raffle to win a Catalyst Club exclusive t-shirt
  • VIP access to our online events like the Yuri’s Night party.
  • Catalyst Club Member Badge for your website (or other online hangouts)
  • A subscription to our monthly newsletter so you can stay up to speed on how our work is progressing and what you can do to help us all move faster.

Lifetime Membership

If you are really anxious to visit outer space and like the idea of being a big-damn-hero, Lifetime membership in the Catalyst Club might be for you.

By supporting Mach 30 at this level you make it possible for us to move even faster.  In gratitude for that investment, your Catalyst Club membership will never expire.  That means in addition to being eligible for the annual benefits listed above, you’ll also be in line for any future benefits we add to the list.  Who knows, if all goes according to plan, one day those benefits might even include a trip to outer space.

Click the button below to become a lifetime member of the Catalyst Club.

Note:  While we will always offer Lifetime Memberships, the price to join will never be this low again.  Right now, $1000 is a huge boost to our work.  As we grow, we’ll need a bigger lever, so the buy-in point for Lifetime Membership will increase accordingly.

Other Ways to Help

Joining the Catalyst Club is a necessary and much appreciated way to accelerate Mach 30’s mission.  But it is not the only way.  If you want to help make your donation go a bit further (or if making a monetary donation just isn’t in the cards right now) you can also support the plan in the following ways.

Spread the Word

Webtreats 3d Glossy Blue Orbs Social Media Icons

(Photo credit: webtreats)

Based on totally unscientific research, we estimate there are well over 1 million people in the United States alone who, given the opportunity, would want to support this new vision for getting humanity into space.

We currently reach fewer than 1000 of them.  The good news is, math is on our side.  If each of our current fans invited just 5 new people into the fold, we’d reach all of those people (plus 2 million more) in just 5 cycles.*

To get that chain reaction going, share this page on the social network of your choice, or send an e-mail introducing us to your favorite space enthusiast.

We can’t wait to meet your friends!

*You may have noticed this the same math that makes pyramid schemes untenable.  Nice to know it can also be a force for good.

Work on a Project

The core work of Mach 30 is small projects that will eventually fit together and build on one another until the way spaceflight technology is developed has totally changed.  More volunteers mean more projects get completed, and the whole process moves faster.  We obviously need engineers and programmers, but we also need manufactures and program managers, writers and filmmakers, fundraisers, and artists.  In fact, if you have a special skill, we will figure out a way to use it to help humanity get into space.  To join our volunteer corps, fill out an interest form or just add Ezri Clarke to your Google+ circles and start showing up at our weekly hangouts.

Keep in Touch

It may not seem like much, but giving us permission to communicate with you is an important way to help. So if you are still reading and none of the other options for involvement work for you, try one (or more) of the following:

Thanks for letting us know you are out there, interested, and with us in spirit!

Let me guess:  You have Questions

Is this really going to work?

In a word, yes.  Open source methodologies have time and again proven to be accelerating forces on the fields to which they are applied.  From software to the invention of the airplane, working openly leads to bigger progress in less time and for lower cost.  The gap in US human spaceflight and the recent development of the Open Source Hardware and Hackerspace/Makerspace Space movements make now the ideal time to launch the Open Source Spaceflight movement.

Why are there three membership levels with the same benefits?

The Catalyst Club has two equally important goals.  We want to get to know as many fellow dreamers as possible and work with them to achieve our shared goal of human spaceflight for all.  We also want to raise the money we need to put our plans into motion. By offering three different membership levels, we are able to raise money as quickly as possible without shutting out anyone who wants to join us.

We’ve labeled the three levels to help potential members choose which one is right for them, but we won’t be checking IDs.  When you are ready to become an official member, pick the support level that fits your budget.  Once you join, there will be no way for other members to see which level you chose.

Space travel is expensive.  How can a $60 donation really make a difference?

$60 might seem like drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps–especially right now.  We aren’t to the phase of development where we are building million dollar rockets (yet).  We are building $200 Estes motor test stands, $400 high altitude balloons, and helping Mach 30 board members and volunteers travel to Makerspaces and conferences where we can introduce ourselves, and our way of thinking to kindred spirits.

In other words, every time a space enthusiast and three of his friends joins the 2013 Catalyst Club a new open source spaceflight project gets funded or another Maker Space gets added to our itinerary.

I have a different question

E-mail Maureen and ask away.  She’ll get back to you as quickly as possible and add the answers to the most commonly asked questions to this page.

Too Long, Didn’t Read

We are looking for space enthusiasts like you to join the Mach 30 Catalyst Club.  Your support means funding for more open source spaceflight projects and helps pay for gas and hotels when we take the Mach 30 message on the road.

Click the donate button above to join as an individual member, or go back and learn more about how the Catalyst Club works.