Tico astronaut Franklin Chang reaches first fundraising goal

September 18, 2015

“Success! We have just crushed our Kickstarter goal! Thanks to all who are supporting us.”

That’s the message Tico astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz posted Monday night on social networks to announce he had reached the first fundraising goal to help produce a documentary on the plasma engine developed by his company Ad Astra Rockets.

On July 9, Chang launched a campaign via Kickstarter.com with the goal of raising $46,000 to produce a short documentary video. The video will explain how the plasma rocket engine he designed and built, called VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket), will work.

The goal was reached “due to a large number of inquiries we received on the project,” Chang said on a video posted on the fundraising page.

The documentary will use advanced graphic animation to explain VASIMR.

Projects seeking funding through Kickstarter campaigns must reach a minimum amount by a set deadline.

Ad Astra set its deadline for Aug. 12, and as of Tuesday morning, the fundraising had received pledges totaling some $54,000.

The Tico company now will aim for $60,000, which will allow Chang to produce extra copies of the documentary to be distributed to scientists and universities around the world. If the campaign reaches $100,000, Chang said he would produce a longer version of the documentary.

Franklin Chang Díaz was inducted into the NASA Hall of Fame in 2012 as one of the astronauts with the most space missions, totaling seven from 1986-2002. He accumulated 66 days off planet Earth.

In 1986, he became the first Latin American astronaut, and he retired from NASA in 2005 to pursue his dream of starting his own company to develop the plasma engine.

You may be interested

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
1066 views
Weather
1066 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica
Weather
3479 views
Weather
3479 views

Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa Rica

Katherine Stanley - December 12, 2017

High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie
Keylor Navas
831 views
Keylor Navas
831 views

With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalie

AFP - December 11, 2017

Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…