September 29, 2017

Hello from LaserSETI headquarters!  Thanks to your generous support, we’ve made great progress and we’re excited to share what’s been happening.
The shipping and receiving department has been very busy.  Our fabulous custom crystals have arrived, and the shirts and hoodies should be in soon!  We’re still ahead of schedule on getting your perks out, and we’ll let you know when they start shipping out.
The camera systems themselves have also had a lot of deliveries.  We can’t wait to start working with the second camera, which will be arriving at the SETI Institute on Monday.  The transmission gratings are being manufactured, the computer to run the cameras has come in, as well as most of the components of the electrical, environmental, and site services subsystems.  In numbers, we’ve spent close to $50k thus far, have 21 components in hand, 5 on order or in transit, 3 ready to order, and 7 waiting on test results or TBD.  This is exactly where we were hoping to be at this point, we’re very excited about the modular enclosure design, and hopefully by the next update we’ll have some pictures to show the pieces coming together!
Cameras are, of course, no good unless you have somewhere to put them, and we were thrilled to have a very positive response and walkthrough at our first-choice observatory!  We can’t announce where that is yet, but site requirements have been established, met, and already exceeded in some cases, and the paperwork is underway. When it’s official, you’ll be the first to know.
In summary, the project and perks are off to a great start.  We’re very glad to have you all aboard, and we hope you’re enjoying this as much as we are!

Thank you for believing in Laser SETI and helping to make it happen – we couldn’t do it without you!

August 18, 2017

We did it!

We hit our $100,000 goal!!!  That means this groundbreaking science project is full speed ahead! 

On behalf of the SETI Institute scientists and staff, I want to thank each and every one of you for getting us here.  We couldn’t be more excited!  We’ll get moving on this next phase of the project as soon as possible, and of course keep you all in the loop as we progress.

A guiding principle for good projects and good people is “it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver, than over-promise and under-deliver.”  While we listed December 2017 for most perk delivery timeframes, know that we’ll get started on those as soon as we can.  We kept our projections conservative, and we’ll hope to get those out to everyone ahead of that timeline.

But wait, there’s more!  As we’ve said repeatedly throughout the Laser SETI campaign, we’re all about efficiency, and now that we’re looking at actuals instead of projections, there’s a possibility we may be able to deliver the dual-site system!  That would validate the entire system and allow us to begin true wide-field SETI operations.  There’s a lot of work ahead of us to make that happen, but not many hours left in the campaign and a few more donations could really make the difference!

So please don’t stop sharing your viral enthusiasm with others!  Of course, it’s never too late to support Laser SETI.  You can always go to http://seti.org/donate and put “Laser SETI” in the comment.

And again, THANK YOU!

August 17, 2017

We’re very close to the finish line and it couldn’t be more exciting!  Just today, Laser SETI hit over 500 backers, and we’re so grateful to each and every one of you.  We want to continue doing groundbreaking science and our motivation and resolve increases every time we hear from someone who shares our passion!

Speaking of passion, Seth Shostak, our Senior Astronomer, has recorded an urgent message for those interested in SETI.  Please enjoy his witty commentary and prepare yourself for future party repartee.

Another way to satisfy your curiosity and educate others is an article published today, written by project scientist Eliot Gillum, answering your questions as solicited by Astronomy Magazine.  Along similar lines, we encourage you to read the recent Centauri Dreams blog, Laser SETI in Context.  Learn more about the broader context of SETI research and contact scenarios!

Finally, we need to issue a small correction from the last update.  The crystal is 2” x 2” x 3” and will still include the lighted base.  We apologize for the misunderstanding.

Thanks again for all your support!  Please continue to show your enthusiasm with those around you, perhaps by sharing the above resources.  We look forward to continuing the conversation with you all as we progress on this project in the coming months!

August 11, 2017

The campaign is strong, and we’re feeling good about being able to deliver on the next phase of Laser SETI.  We recently breached $60k from well over 400 backers!  A hearty THANK YOU to all of you who’ve made this possible.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Bathsheba Grossman, the artist who designed our favorite perk, the Crystal.  It captures the Laser SETI effort perfectly, using that beautiful spiral galaxy to illustrate the literal and figurative grand vision of the project.  One set of cameras stares unblinking and majestic, scanning for signs of something new, unknown, but not totally unexpected.

The animation on the campaign page gives a great sense of this, but “a picture is worth a thousand words” so we thought you’d want to see just that.  The crystal is 3″ x 3″ x 4″ and will brighten any space you choose!

Adding to the excitement, because of our endless dedication to cost efficiency, we’ve found that we can offer the crystal in all its stunning beauty and include with every PREVIOUS AND FUTURE selection of this perk an attractive lighted base to highlight this fusion of science and art!  (Final base will differ from the one pictured above)

We also want to announce a Q&A with project scientist Eliot Gillum, hosted by Astronomy Magazine.  If you or your friends have questions, please submit them by Tuesday the 15th, and we’ll address as many as we can!  Knowledge is power and, now, an extra reason to get excited about Laser SETI.

Please continue to share the campaign, online and in the real world.  Thank you for your support!

August 1, 2017

Wow! Laser SETI campaign extended to 8/18!

Great news everyone . . . thanks to the generous contributions of 335 backers, the Laser SETI campaign has raised over $55,000 of the $100K needed to achieve our vision.  Thank you!

We’re excited to announce that the Laser SETI campaign will be extended until August 18 to help us achieve that goal. This will enable us to build two cameras and spatially localize targets on the sky, validate the algorithm and distribution of potential signals.

To celebrate the Laser SETI campaign extension, we’ve added a great new perk. The Broadband Roll-up is $419 and includes the Galaxy Crystal, Laser SETI t-shirt AND hoodie, SETI Institute cap + pin, laser pointer, sticker, quarterly reports, and, of course, GOOD KARMA.

We think everyone will interested to read the latest from Laser SETI scientist, Gerry Harp. “Big discoveries in science are often made when innovative instruments probe nature in new ways,” said Gerry. “Laser SETI will search the sky for a variety of pulsed light signals that might have been overlooked before. We may find ET, and we also may find new physics.”

We still need your help in order to make it to the finish line.  Your support has made this campaign possible and you’re our best advocates.  Please tell your friends about Laser SETI and SHARE on your social networks!  We hope you’ll also consider making an additional contribution to support Laser SETI and to get in on this new perk.

We’ll continue to keep you up-to-date on the progress of the Laser SETI campaign. In the meantime, THANK YOU!

July 22, 2017

We’re thrilled to have over 200 backers and be already more than a third of the way to our goal!  In fact, with 3 weeks left to go, our chances look good to exceed it and even truck right on to a stretch goal!  More science is more awesome for more people!

This is all made possible by you–picking your favorite perks, telling your friends, and sharing on social media.  Thank you so much and please continue supporting us!

Speaking of sharing, we recommend reading some of the great articles that have been spreading the word on LaserSETI.  We were featured in Astronomy MagazineCentauri Dreams did a 3 post series, and both IFLScience and New Atlas waxed poetic.  Or, take the shortcut and just read the excellent excerpts below!

Thanks again for your tremendous support.  You’ll be hearing more from us soon, and we hope to hear more from you, too!