David Jackson (left) and Dave Petrillo of Coffee Joulies brought in more than $300,000 using Kickstarter.
The website Kickstarter has been around for two years now, helping artists, musicians and filmmakers fund their projects by getting lots of people to make small donations. Project that in the past had little hope of getting funding, suddenly have the cash they need. Recently, entrepreneurs have started using the site to launch new products, something the company's founders never imagined.
The Kickstarter formula is pretty simple and powerful. It starts with an idea, a specific project. Take X-Files: The Musical.
The crawler's titanic treads grip the dirt of the "crawlerway," a special road between the launch ad and the hangar-like structure where the shuttle is assembled. The road is designed to hold the combined 18 million pounds of the crawler and the shuttle it carries.
Credit United Space Alliance
Bill Couch looks down from the cab of the crawler. Couch is one of only six people certified to drive the enormous machine.
The crawler inches towards Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in 2005, traveling one mile per hour and burning a gallon of gas every 32 feet. In 2005, its precious cargo was the Space Shuttle Discovery; for it's last trip at the end of May, the crawler will transport Space Shuttle Atlantis to its final launch.
Framed in the doors of the Kennedy Center's Vehicle Assembly Building, the crawler begins the long journey towards Launch Pad 37B with Space Shuttle Discovery in April 2005. This enormous cross between a tank and a cargo ship is the largest self-powered land vehicle in the world.
Before space shuttle Atlantis can carry astronauts up on the very last shuttle mission ever, workers on the ground first have to carry Atlantis to the launch pad.
The last shuttle launch is planned for July 8. But the shuttle's final trek to the launch pad is Tuesday night. It's a historic milestone for NASA — and a very personal one for the people in charge of taking the shuttle on this first leg of its final journey.