(Note – I donated $100 to Uwingu back in 2012, and am therefore listed as a supporter at the Founder level. I received a small token of appreciation at the time, but do not now gain anything from the association.)
Uwingu is a private organization organized to support space research, education, and exploration. It hopes to take the nearly $80,000 raised in 2012 and generate $10 million in 2014. Aside from donations and sponsors, Uwingu has been raising funds through naming opportunities. Until recently it had only been suggestions for exoplanet names. But two announcements indicate a new emphasis on the red planet.
First, there is now a way to help name Martian craters. The price depends on the size of the crater, and Uwingu has a nice map tool to help you figure out which crater to name, and where on Mars it is. This map will be used on Mars by the Mars One project, which plans to start sending humans to Mars a decade from now. It’s first unmanned missions will take the Uwingu map along and use the named features in its explorations.
All of this is used to help support efforts like Mars One and other space exploration and education projects. Uwingu funds help support Astronomers Without Borders, teacher training programs, student aerospace bootcamps, and at least one telescope array. If you’d like to help, visit the Uwingu website and see how you’d like to contribute.
And it’s 3 days until COSMOS.