SpaceBets is an online casino, but with
a twist. It is built to
generate funding and enthusiasm for grassroots
How does it work?
SpaceBets.com is a
betting pool where amateur or "outsider" space experiments compete with one another, and you bet
on the winner. If the team you bet
on wins, you get money!
A percentage of all winnings also funds the teams' prizes, and covers expenses for SpaceBets.com.
Think Ansari X-Prize with a bookie.
After each contest,
all winning designs are open-sourced to keep the competition close and
exciting. Open-sourcing also lets the whole world benefit from
any research done; so you, the public, can count that among your
Over time as we run more competitions, the money we accumulate
will fund bigger prizes and more ambitious challenges.
Simultaneously, our pool of public-domain technology will grow in size and
competitions are unmanned; no risk to human life is allowed. Our master
plan is to spark a civilian economic escalation all the way
to the Moon.
How can it work? In 2004 online
gambling made a total of 6.4 billion
dollars. Divide that among the 2,000 online casinos of that year
and you get an average yearly income of $3,200,000 per casino.
So you might ask, if casinos make so much, why bother to fund
Because: the Achilles' heel of online casinos is marketing.
Competition for customer attention so fierce that most casinos have to
spend most of their profits just shouting loud enough to be heard over
the other casinos. We
think this is because online casinos are
too much alike. Who can
notice or even remember one blackjack game over another? Our
philosophy is that if we capture the public's imagination, especially
in a bold and creative way, we will be very hard to forget. We
are creating a whole new marketing niche.
Competing teams are encouraged to communicate with the public as
much as possible.
For every dollar you bet, you stand to win [(((total
We keep (((total
Half that goes to the winning teams' prize, the other half to us.
are the competitions?
RocketRaces - Unmanned rockets compete for higher
and higher altitudes. Rockets are divided into competitions by
weight class. The long-term goal is to reach orbit, but even
simple model rockets may run competitions too. Alternatives such
as balloon-launched rockets and cannon-launched rockets are also
Telebots - Contestants design and operate
telepresence robots, long-distance, to compete at ever more complex
Eventually we will run 2sd (2-second delay) competitions to
simulate operating telebots on the Moon all the way from the
Earth. Think "Battlebots", except the 'bots are building instead
MoonTown - Contestants design and build automatic
refineries and factories that convert simulated lunar soil into machine
parts. Those teams who produce the highest-quality results before
their contest deadline win the money. The MoonTown category will
also include mass driver
StratoLife - Contestants design and build sealed
environments for living plants and insects, and float them under
weather balloons in near-space for weeks at a time. Winners are
those habitats which survive the longest in the radiation and
temperature extremes of near-space. StratoLife competitions will
also include breeding plants to live naked in near-vacuum.
The Teams All
teams are encouraged to have their own web sites, with webcams on their
construction floors to generate public interest in their
progress. Every team may also solicit donations from the public,
including bettors, so long as all team budgets are fully disclosed.
Teams are encouraged to publicise themselves, as publicity draws
in more bettors and so increases the prize money and overall profile of
Mail us your application and we'll send you a sealed
GPS/altimeter and two sealed webcams. The GPS/altimeter will ride
on your rocket and log time-tagged position data to prove your vehicle
high as you claim. One webcam will also ride on the rocket, while
the other will film the launch from the ground.
All launches will be televised live on our website (and
archived) and winners announced on the competition deadline day.
All bettors will be emailed about the results, and winnings credited to
the winners' accounts.
Please clear all of
your rocketing activities with your community - we will not be held
responsible for any damage you do to yourself or others. If in
we find that you are behaving recklessly, you will be barred from
competitions and forfeit any prize money coming to you.
Rocket Race Competition Classes
Research Class - Groundbreaking
achievements in rocketry, such as highest alititude for weight/budget
heaviest cargo lifted, etc.
Educational Class - Conventional
model rocketry for prize bucks. This is mainly to generate public
awareness and enthusiasm.
- We stage 2 betting-pool rocket launches a day (weather permitting)
just to keep our site lively between big events. Because we
ourselves are the
rocketeers, we will save the prize money for future competitions.
Initially, most launches will probably be in-house.
Telepresence robots will be the
most powerful catalyst to the
industrialization of space. They will allow 24/7 human talent
to work in space at no risk to human life, and with none of the
expenses of life
support. Telebots can "roll out the red carpet" for humans before we even show up in person,
building large living environments from lunar materials.
Telebot-constructed space ships may even someday come for us before we
need to go to them.
Unfortunately robots are not attractive to politically-generated
space funding. People just don't get excited about robots, no
matter how much potential they really have. We aim to change
that! If a robot's success puts money in your pocket (or takes it
robot will take on a lot more human interest. Compared to a slot
machine, a telebot has a lot of personality!
When we declare a telebot competition, we will provide you with
specifications and examples of the type of environment your robot is
supposed to work in. We will not, however, provide you with an exact map of the environment your
robot will finally be tested in. Certain features will be
randomized, within constraints that you will know, and you will just
have to deal in realtime.
Because the exact environment is held secret until testing day,
all teams must compete on the same day to prevent cheating.
Once your telebot is finished, mail it to us with instructions
on how to set it up (or come here
yourself). On competition day, each contestant will get 3 chances
to accomplish his/her tasks before the contest is closed.
As the telebot contestants improve, competitions will eventually be held in vacuum, in
simulated lunar environments, with a 3-second delay to simulate remote control from Earth.
we will manufacture large amounts of simulated lunar soil. A wide
range of soil types will be created to account for uncertanties about
real soil composition. Teams will then compete to build compact
machines which can refine the soil into useful pure metals, and then
form the metals into industrial building units such as screws, beams
and -best of all- solar cells.
competitions will be exciting for everyone, as they involve the most
powerful cannons ever imagined. The winner will be the team to
develop a mass driver which can accellerate metal BBs to lunar escape
velocity (2.4 kilometers per second). If there is a tie, the
smallest or lightest mass driver will win.
(BTW there are real rocket clubs that compete for prizes. They just don't gamble.)