Inside the New DIY Space Race

January 31, 2013 | Andy Cush

A new documentary from the Verge details the major players in a new sort of space race–one that’s being run by small, private companies and chiefly funded on Kickstarter. The ideas presented–ranging from putting Arduinos into orbit to give developers access to data from space (amazing), to building an elevator on the moon (maybe less practical but also amazing)–are all exciting, and the players all have a DIY scrappiness that’s hard not to identify with.

“The private sector could never have done what NASA did in the ’50s and ’60s,” says Zachary Manchester, founder of a project that hopes to send stamp-sized satellites into space. “But the great thing is, they did it, and now the private sector doesn’t have to…NASA existed at that time, before any of this had been done, when no one knew how to do it. Now, private companies can take that knowledge and that experience that NASA developed and run with it.

We’d show it to you here, but the embed code is acting finicky at the moment, so head to the Verge to watch. There’s a pretty great written feature, as well.

(Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr)