SETI back on track thanks to Jodie Foster, Larry Niven and (maybe) you

As we reported in April, the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute was experiencing budget cuts, so it was forced to shut down its spearhead to life in space, the Alien Telescope Array. Now fans of the institute, who obviously didn't want a crimp in their first-contact plans, have donated $200,000 for the cause.

If you haven't noticed, the economy has recently been having a spot of bother, resulting in budget cuts and limited private donations to every agency or group in need, including SETI. But SETI has one advantage in fundraising that many institutes do not: star power.

According to MSNBC:

Among the contributors are Jodie Foster, the actress who played a SETI researcher in the movie "Contact"; science-fiction writer Larry Niven, creator of the "Ringworld" series of novels; and Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders, who flew around the moon in 1968. "It is absolutely irresponsible of the human race not to be searching for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence," Anders wrote in a note accompanying his contribution.

In all, more than 2,000 people who want a focused exploration of space donated to SETI.

SETI's chief executive officer, Tom Pierson, says that the institute will be restarting its science operations in September. (And wouldn't it suck if the aliens were trying to attract our attention right now?)

Of course, they're still accepting donations: SETI's operating costs, plus the costs of its science division, require $2.5 million a year. You can also help out SETI by using your computer to sift through the data. Visit setiQuest for more information.

(via MSNBC)

Related Stories

The cutting edge tech NASA will use to pinpoint an eventual manned Mars landing Trent Moore

It’s a funny thing: We have the technology to launch and fly a craft all the way from our planet to other parts of the solar system, but one of the trickiest parts is sticking the landing.

Stephen Hawking's new theory gives us hope if ever stuck in a black hole Jeff Spry

Entering the most destructive force in the universe may have an unexpected outcome.

This ambitious university VR project is basically The Matrix built inside a holodeck Trent Moore

Researchers at the University of Michigan have been tinkering with virtual reality for years, but the makeshift holodeck just got a major upgrade.