SPACEBUZZ, a revolutionary educational non-profit mission that recreates the experience of an astronaut in mixed reality – and backed by ESA Astronaut Andre Kuipers – has today launched an international fundraising campaign to achieve its global expansion plans and create hundreds of thousands of young ambassadors of Planet Earth. SPACEBUZZ is looking for €2.5 million for its orbital mission.
The ambition is to inspire millions of children worldwide to see their home planet from a different perspective: from outer space. Inspired by the ‘overview effect’ – a major shift in perspective that astronauts have reported as showing the beauty and fragility of our earth – SPACEBUZZ is a non-profit mission to create ambassadors of Planet Earth that will help to protect our planet for future generations. It does this through a conceptual educational program that aims to mimic a real astronaut’s experience of going into space.
The program – undergoing a research partnership with Tilburg University, The Netherlands – consists of a three-part mission structure supported with hands-on learning and a digital platform. As the ultimate part of the educational program, children are taken on a custom-engineered rocket that ‘launches’ into space, with a guided VR tour by ‘Flight Commander; and ESA Astronaut Andre Kuipers. On a low-orbit flyover of the earth, Kuipers points out the world’s natural wonders and inspires children to think differently about the earth, in order to inspire a generation that will aim to protect Planet Earth at all costs.
The SPACEBUZZ education program and rocket were created in only 18 months, supported by private funding along with the scientific research partnership with Tilburg University to study the effects of VR in education.
Andre Kuipers, ESA astronaut and SPACEBUZZ spokesperson, said: “SPACEBUZZ made me feel like I was really back in space. I believe that by bringing this concept across the world, we can reach millions of children and their families with the magic of the overview effect. By doing so, we aim to inspire a generational change in thinking that will see the earth in a new light.”
Victor Knaap, CEO at MediaMonks and SPACEBUZZ launch Partner, said: ‘The program was built from the start with a global mission in mind: scalable, nationally adaptable, free for all children in the world and with the help of private sponsors and public partners like ESA, WWF, National Geographic, MediaMonks, NL Space and NEMO Science Museum. We hope that angel investors and organisations worldwide will join us in supporting this incredible mission.’
In October 2019 the SPACEBUZZ program will be launched internationally against the backdrop of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. There, 125 international astronauts will attend the yearly conference of the Association of Space Explorers ASE to both celebrate the historical first landing on the Moon 50 years ago and speak about the future in space.
From Houston, SPACEBUZZ will go to Washington DC, to be introduced on a worldwide stage to the global space community present at the International Astronautical Conference IAC in the Washington Convention Centre. SPACEBUZZ is one of only a few non-profit organizations present at this prestigious convention themed ‘The Power of the Past, the Promise of the Future’.
Launched at The Next Web Conference 2019, the fundraising campaign aims to generate enough funding to transport the rocket to the United States and roll out the educational program across the globe, starting next year in at least five countries, with an ambition to finally reach out to all the continents.
The campaign is supported with the launch of a website at spacebuzz.earth/fund-us
where potential investors can learn more about supporting this revolutionary educational program.