If You Care About Creating an Open Space Frontier, Donate to Make it Happen!

If You Care About Creating an Open Space Frontier, Donate to Make it Happen!

November 8, 2011 Opinion

Giving to the Space Frontier Foundation is the Logical Choice to Unleash the Power of Free Enterprise in Space.


For 23 years I have been donating large chunks of my workweek to the Space Frontier Foundation. For most of that time my business partners were perplexed by my “hobby” and thought I should spend more time on the “serious” business of making money. When I talked about creating a free and open frontier in space their eyes glazed over, rather like mine glaze over when they talk about their golf game. This has now changed because we have changed it!

It is now routine for people to ask me during business meetings what is happening with NewSpace. Even better, they listen attentively to what I have to say. I’d like to believe that my presentation has dramatically improved but I know better. Serious business people, like most everybody else, have heard the message that some of the biggest opportunities of the 21st Century are in space. They have heard the news that we can protect Earth’s fragile environment and create a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the nearly unlimited resources of space. They hear what I’m saying because they are already inclined to agree.

The Space Frontier Foundation has succeeded in “changing the conversation about space” and the whole of human civilization will reap the benefits. Our work, however, is only just beginning. Now we need to spread the understanding that it is only by unleashing the power of free enterprise that we can have the benefits on offer in our Solar System.

Now we need to spread our message of a hopeful future to places like Florida’s space coast, Houston, Huntsville, and even Washington where NewSpace is seen as a threat to the gravy train. Now we need to make it real.

The Space Frontier Foundation uses two powerful tools to do our work: money and volunteers. In recent years we have been very fortunate to welcome a new generation of gifted volunteers. This year alone those volunteers grew our NewSpace Conference by over 25% while Teachers in Space grew even faster. Last summer we had the undivided attention of over 100 teachers for at least one week to educate them about NewSpace and give them the tools to bring this inspiring story into their classrooms. By now thousands of students have heard the good news.

Years of working on a shoestring and our enthusiastic, capable and growing cadre of volunteers allows us to accomplish a great deal with limited resources. The growth of other parts of the NewSpace community synergistically amplifies our work as we amplify theirs.

Sadly, I must admit that we are still terrible at bringing in donations from individuals who share our vision and this letter is the first of several asking you for the money we need to continue our work in 2012. If this effort is successful the Foundation will continue to grow rapidly in both size and effectiveness. If this effort is successful we will see the Senate Launch System wither and die sooner rather than later. If this effort is successful we will be one step closer to opening the space frontier to human settlement.

Advisors on how to get people to give generously say I should tell you a heartwarming story involving cute puppies, kittens and children. They say I should evoke an emotional response so you give generously. I might even do it if I thought I could. But I am a rationalist and I can only say that if you care about a free and open space frontier, giving generously to the Space Frontier Foundation is the logical thing to do.

Tax-deductible donations can be made at spacefrontier.org/donate.

Thank you for your support!

Bob Werb

Chairman of the Board and Founder