I’ve been considering a few different ideas for raising money for my trip to Mars. The actual mission itself will require substantial funding from investors, but it doesn’t seem prudent to wait until I have all those ducks in a row before getting started with my preparations. When I was at the Mars Society conference two weeks ago in Los Angeles, my friend Nicolas referred me to an acquaintance of his named Taichi Yamazaki. Mr. Yamazaki is a business owner from Japan who has independently undertaken training to travel into space, and Nicolas believes he could be a valuable mentor for preparing to go to Mars. In particular, Nicolas suggested that Taichi could recommend training programs that I could enroll in to prepare myself for going to Mars.
Nicolas also suggested that I consider crowd funding as a way to pay for at least a portion of this training. He recommended a site called Patreon which specializes in crowd funding for artists and creative endeavors. I’m not sure that would be the best platform for what I’m doing, but it did get me started looking at some options. I think that the best alternative for me would be GoFundMe, which provides fundraising campaigns for a vast variety of different causes. I’m thinking that what I may do is find a specific training event to raise money for and then provide contributors with a candid account of the training. For those who contribute $100 I would have some t-shirts made, and for anyone who contributes $500 or more I would come have lunch with them and talk one on one about the Mars NOW! project.
The other fundraising option that I’m considering is doing a reality TV show. Admittedly, I’m not crazy about this idea because I’m reluctant to expose my entire life (and more importantly my family’s life) to public scrutiny. I realize however that when I go to Mars that’s going to happen anyway, so I might as well do it on my terms now and make it work to my benefit. I’ve been doing some research about a few different production companies that I’m going to reach out to. I think that a show that chronicles my efforts would be well suited to the History Channel or the Discovery Channel. I’m very cautious about this prospect, but I’ve spoken with several mentors who think it has a lot of promise.
Other funding options might include specific product endorsements or sponsorships. I’ve thought of maybe a sportswear manufacturer, maybe a hardware or tool company, or some kind of sport or energy drink. I think that those arrangements would be a little further down the road though. I’d be interested to hear recommendations that anyone else has.