Doctor Who may be new to my almost-36 years old life, but even before I know the catch phrase, I’ve always wanted to see the stars.
I told Brandon that if we ever won the lottery, I would definitely buy a seat on Virgin Galactic flight.
And that got me thinking.
Space exploration has always been an inspiration as a science nerd and overall imagination. Oh, the possibilities! Instead of me fulfilling my own bucket list, what if I can inspire the next generation of young nerds by sending them to the see the stars?
So here’s my thought.
I want to raise US$1 million and send 6 young adults into space on a chartered Virgin Galactic flight.
Geronimo! The Space Program.
Is that crazy?
Here’s what I have in mind so far.
It will be a scholarship program for students age 16 and up through college. From anywhere in the world–but we’ll start with the U.S. first. All kinds of disciplines: writers and filmmakers as well as engineers and scientists. 3 boys and 3 girls plus 2 back-ups, total of 8 kids each year. If the back-ups don’t get to go on flight, they will automatically fill next year’s first 2 seats.
If I can have it my way, this program will not be just a ticket to space but a complete experience they will never forget. It’s like space camp but you actually get to go into space.
They will start with a summer internship/camp with Virgin Galactic, learning the in-and-outs of the business that is closest to their interests. Say, the engineers will be working at the space ports and the artists will be working in marketing and PR office, or they can mix it all up. They’ll have field trips and special lectures. At the end of the internship is when they take their flights. They have to perform well during the summer camp. Any slacking off and you’re off the program.
Obviously, to qualify for the program, you’ll have to be a stellar (hee) student. Excellent grades. Awesome extracurricular activities. Inspirational. Finalists will have to produce more documents maybe a portfolio and how you’d raise fund for other expenses that the program may not cover e.g. travel and spending money while on the program. Upon your return, the group has one week to collaborate on a project that is inspired by the experience.
Of course, now you’re saying that $1 million isn’t going to cover the expenses for the camp part of the deal. True, but that is something that we can work on. Partnership. Sponsorship. Donation. We’ll cover as much as we can for the kids while they’re in our care.
Can you imagine how awesome this could possibly be?
I can see this in my head. Geronimo! The Space Program. In partnership with Virgin Galactic, BBC, and JPL. Board members include Buzz Aldrin, Elon Musk, James Cameron, and Will.i.am.
Maybe not. Because there’s this thing called reality.
I have been excited about this idea for a few days. But of course, I obviously don’t have the money to start anything but a blog post. Kickstarter? Sure I can probably go there, but I have no solid plans, no business plans, no logical structure to anything.
In short, all I have is a big honkin’ idea.
But that’s how Virgin Galactic gets started too.
Perhaps someone else with more resources and knowledge and take this idea and run with it. I’d have no problem with that as long as it can become reality.
Let’s see where it will go from here.