Here’s a set of links that have been sitting in my queue.
Here is an article that tells the story of the ISEE-3 Reboot Project‘s successful effort to contact and gain control of the International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 unmanned probe (ISEE-3), which was launched by NASA in 1978 and subsequently redirected to follow a comet : Space: the financial frontier – how citizen scientists took control of a spaceship – TheConversation.com.
The project, which was funded via crowd-sourcing, was reported on here several times. Unfortunately, the propulsion system could not be restarted and so they could not place the ISEE-3 probe into an orbit that would keep it close to earth and let it resume its solar science measurements. Nevertheless, the project demonstrated a great deal: a private group can raise funding for such a project, can gain access to elaborated ground control systems, and can contact and control a sophisticated scientific spacecraft. This may inspire many more such projects.
Former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin spoke to David Livingston on The Spac eShow about the Spaceship Earth Grants (SEG), on which Leland is the president: Leland Melvin, Friday, 10-3-14 – Thespaceshow’s Blog
Mr. Melvin started out by telling us about SEG which he said was formed to do good in the world. He talked about their contest for raising money to send people to space so that they will experience an orbital shift in perception (The Overview Effect) and upon return, do work and good with this new perspective of Earth. They want this new perspective shared with others for the benefit of all. He talked about the application for the contest and the fee structure which you will find fully explained on their website so see the above URL.
Leland explained that this was a crowd funding program though not like others that use specific crowd funding program such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. We also learned from a listener question that the contest winners will choose their own carrier for going to space and will need to comply with the rules & conditions set by that particular carrier. Later, he mentioned that they would have a spaceflight training academy but details would not be announced until later in October.
A simulation of a Mars One type of settlement found several serious problems that will need to be solved before such an endeavor can be viable : MIT Analysis Paints Bleak Outcome for Mars One Concept – SpacePolicyOnline.com.