Galex for Sale

Charming story last night on North Carolina Public Radio’s The Story about the astronomer who funded Galex, a NASA map the sky project – with a bake sale – a consortium of private funders. Chris Martin, a Caltech scientist, came up with the idea over drinks with a friend after NASA told him he would have to shut down his satellite surveyor a year early. He stumbled a bit when he needed to think of his consortium partners as customers and learned about pricing and margins. But with his new independence from NASA, he can pursue his goal of mapping the remaining 20% of the sky, most prominently including – the Milky Way.
Having raised similar sums of money back in the day to fund a chemistry software project with corporate partners, I was cheering on Dr. Martin. And the resulting star photos, as you can see here, are great!

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