The Aerospace Industries Association is hoping to place a 30-second NASA trailer entitled We Are the Explorers ahead of the premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness in theaters across the U.S.
In February 2012, NASA put out We Are the Explorers, a short video that looks at "the tradition of reaching for things just beyond our grasp." Narrated by Peter Cullen, better known to most of us as Optimus Prime, it's inspirational rather than instructional, but it's also a great reminder that the whole wide universe is out there, waiting to be discovered. "We don't know what new discoveries lie ahead," Cullen intones. "But this is the very reason we must go." It's goose-pimply kind of stuff.
It's a message the Aerospace Industries Association would like to expose it to a much wider audience, and thus it has whipped up a rather clever plan to crowdfund the purchase of space for a 30-second edit of the video to run in "major movie markets" ahead of the premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness. If the goal of $33,000 is reached, the ad will run in more than 50 theaters for eight weeks; additional funds will be used to buy slots in more theaters across the U.S.
But beyond simple fundraising, the Indiegogo campaign is also intended to be a demonstration of support for space exploration programs. "By donating to this campaign, you're making a very powerful statement about the widespread enthusiam that exists for space programs," the campaign states. "A crowdfunding campaign is the best vehicle to deliver this message. By reaching our goal, we not only enable a first-of-its-kind ad campaign, we also demonstrate that countless people support a strong space program that's in development."
"Perks" for supporting the campaign are relatively thin and expensive, but unlike videogame crowdfunding, the We Are the Explorers campaign is more about kicking in a few bucks to support a really cool and worthwhile cause. It's going pretty well so far, raising more than half of its $33,000 goal with 34 days left on the clock, and with Wil Wheaton giving it a push on Twitter, I suspect it will have no problem crossing the finish line.