An explorer’s club for Mars missions

An international group based in New Zealand has put together a new organization, dubbed the Martian Trust, modeled after National Geographic as a way to privately fund space missions.

The Martian Trust is similar to the early National Geographic Society, a non-profit which funded exploration of the world’s furthest reaches through everyday members, magazine subscribers, and wealthy philanthropists. The intent is to tap into the global space-lovers, who will help fund projects in exchange for martian stories, products and experiences produced.

They are using crowd-funding to obtain funds. Trustees will be picked either by a vote from those who contributed small amounts, or because they themselves contributed more than $5 million.