In 2011, space shuttle Discovery returned from space for the last time, putting an end to one of the most public aspects of NASA. NASA programs, though, are far from being over: the agency is still busy designing and building space vehicles that will define the next generation of space travel and exploration, taking us where no one has gone before.
Last year, NASA created an inspiring promotional video narrated by Peter Cullen, the man behind the voice of Eeyore (Winnie The Pooh) and Optimus Prime (in the original animated 1980’s version of The Transformers). However, since the agency is prevented from spending any money on advertising, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) of America went to Indiegogo to raise funds on NASA's behalf to edit the video into a 30-second spot and put it on movie screens across the U.S., beginning with the premiere of Star Trek Into Darkness.
Why does the AIA feel such a video is important? Thanks to the recent sequester, NASA has been forced to suspend many of its education and public outreach efforts. This includes all permanent and traveling exhibits and workshops, as well as many speeches and appearances. As Star Trek Into Darkness will be seen by a wide variety of people across the U.S., this video will serve to remind the public that NASA is still at the forefront of space exploration, and of how incredibly important that exploration is.
NASA has not only recently landed the Curiosity rover on Mars, but other programs are currently discovering new and potentially habitable exoplanets, as well as showing us new information about the age and nature of the Universe. These new discoveries will inspire a nation of future scientists, doctors, mathematicians, engineers and technicians, but only if they are aware of NASA and its programs.
The result of the crowdfunding campaign was successful: the goal of $33,000 was reached in just six short days, guaranteeing that the video will run in at least 59 theaters. As the campaign still has 31 days left, a new stretch goal has been announced. The original plan was to place ads in at least one theater per state, but the new goal is $94,000. If reached, the video will run in a total of 750 theaters across the country.
You can help fund the “We Are Explorers” campaign here.