When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled a mockup of Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander in May, he also unveiled a more down-to-earth enterprise: the Club for the Future, a nonprofit effort aimed at promoting science education through fun space-oriented projects.
Its first project? A campaign to solicit postcards that would be flown into space aboard Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard rocket, and then sent back to the kids who submitted them.
Today in a tweet, Bezos says thousands have responded so far:
.@BlueOrigin founded nonprofit @clubforfuture to inspire youth to pursue careers in #STEM + visualize life in space. We asked students to send postcards w/their dreams and we’d send the cards above the Kármán line to space and back. We’ve received thousands – they’re so inspiring pic.twitter.com/5fxHoD8DJm
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) August 29, 2019
Bezos went into a bit more detail in a parallel Instagram posting.
“We’ve received thousands of postcards from 22 countries — and more come in every day,” he wrote. “I’ve seen the messages and they are so hopeful and inspiring. We are in good hands.”
Some of the students have clearly read up on Bezos’ vision of the future: One of the sketches that the world’s richest person passed along lays out a roadmap for “Space 2319,” including drawings of New Shepard, Blue Origin’s orbital-class New Glenn rocket and an example of the self-contained, cylindrical O’Neill space colonies that Bezos likes so much as a future home for humans.
It’s not too late to send in a card and join the Club for the Future: The “Space Mail” program is geared toward students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Kids can draw or write up their vision for having millions of people living and working in space on the back of a postcard, put their name and address (plus a postage stamp) on the front, slip the card into a stamped envelope and send it to Club for the Future, P.O. Box 5759, Kent, WA 98064.
The first 10,000 postcards to be sent in will be considered for flight on a future New Shepard mission. Deadline for submission is Sept. 30. Review the full terms and conditions to make sure your card fits the specifications.
You can also sign up for the Club for the Future via the venture’s website — whether you’re a student, a parent or a teacher. As far as I can tell, joining the club doesn’t increase your chances of being chosen for a future suborbital spaceflight. But you don’t have to be a kid to dream, right?