Crowdfunding a female astronaut – an initiative from Claudia Kessler SSP93
A number of space related projects over the last years have been benefitting, in particular for the seed funding phase, by using crowdfunding techniques.
Noting the lack of recruitment possibility over the next few years in Europe, ISU alumna Claudia Kessler (SSP93) has come up with the very original idea to use this type of platform in order to recruit ‘Die Astronautin’ (German for female astronaut).
Claudia Kessler, managing the well-known recruitment company HE Space, explains her motivation as follows:
“With the Astronautin we aim to create a role model for women and girls, and inspire them to pursue careers in human spaceflight and in the space industry more broadly.
We want to conduct and complete a privately organized and managed human-spaceflight project as a means of paving the way for future commercial spaceflight initiatives in Europe.
And to collect scientific data on the physiological and psychological responses of a woman in space.”
Using the standard astronaut selection procedures, in order to be fully compatible with potential future assignments, a group of 6 candidates are now shortlisted in Germany. Including ISU alumna, Susanne Peters (SSP15)!
There is a precedence for this idea showing that it is realistic. Cohu Experience, a Finnish space industry company, launched a crowdfunding campaign in January 2017 for its new Space Nation astronaut program. Less than an hour after the launch of this initiative, the project secured its first million and then finished the round with $3.4 million euro collected.
For those interested in supporting this interesting project - https://www.startnext.com/dieastronautin