The Astronaut Instruction Manual

A 68-page children's book
A book to inspire today's students to prepare for their own careers in space.
Mike is a writer who encourages students to pursue careers in space-related fields. He lives in Key West, FL and co-founded OBEY.
in production
publishes
October, 2015
614
ordered
About The Astronaut Instruction Manual


UPDATE #5 WE GOT BACKED BY US CONGRESSMAN JOE GARCIA!!

Congressman Joe Garcia (D-FL) has backed The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens! WOWOW! Congressman Garcia is famous around our household as the sponsor of the STEM Innovations Networks Act. Thank you, Congressman Joe Garcia, for you support of STEM education and science!

UPDATE #4 DOUG ROBERSTON ENDORSEMENT

Rockstar 4th grade teacher & He's The Weird Teacher author Doug Robertson just wrote the most amazing blurb for the back cover of The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens. Doug is a lightning rod educator, empowering other superhero teachers around the world (and nightly on Twitter around hashtag #WeirdEd) by his validation of unorthodox-yet-wonderful-successful teaching methods-slash-and teachers. He is a maverick, a peer, and his students cherish him, and their parents praise him, and we are completely over the moon for Doug's endorsement!

UPDATE #3 ALYSSA CARSON WRITING BOOK'S FORWARD

There is perhaps no more perfect case study individual for whom The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens is written than Alyssa "Blueberry" Carson. Alyssa started her dream of going to space when she was just 3 years old. She is now 13, and is well on her way towards making her dream of space a reality—including having completed 14 Space Camps , a TEDx Talk, and been recently interviewed by BBC News. Who better to write the forward for The A.I.M. than future Mars astronaut Alyssa Carson? We are thrilled to have Alyssa on board!

UPDATE #2 RACHEL ARMSTRONG ENDORSEMENT

More #AWESOME: TED Fellow Dr Rachel Armstrong has delivered a powerful endorsement of The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens!

UPDATE #1 LEE BILLINGS ENDORSEMENT

Mike Mongo's The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens endorsed by best-selling 'Five Billion Years of Solitude' author Lee Billings!

-Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens-
“My name is Mike Mongo and
I'm an Astronaut Teacher.”

Since 2008, asan invited guest teacher, I have visited schools and classrooms all over the world to let today’s young students aware that tomorrow's jobs—the best jobs ever!—are inspace.

Astronaut teacher is pretty much the greatest job in the world. I travel, workwith amazing people, and best of all meet with young students who loveeverything about space and science.

Many of these students already know exactly what they want to do whenthey grow up—go to outer space!—and have just been waiting for some person (i.e., an astronaut teacher) to tellthem that which they've been longing to hear. Which is this:

"If today you are between the ages of 9 and 12, by the time you are out of college—around year 2025—you will have the opportunity to be among the first human beings who live, work, and play in space."

Everyday I share what I call the three magic questions:

  • How are you doing?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Have you thought about doing that in space?

These three questions get students thinking of themselves-and-space as one idea. For instance, explain to kids who want to be professional athletes that they can do that in space, they go all gosh and wow right before your eyes.

And that is key. Allowing students the freedom toimagine themselves doing what they love in space is key. It all comes down to the simplefact that kids—like many, many of us grown-ups—want to get to space.

Our job, as grown-ups, is to provide them with the tools to maketheir dream of space become our future and their reality. Our job is to let themknow their dream job can be working in space. Which is whyI I wrote The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens:

HUMANNAIRES!

The Astronaut Instruction Manual forPre-Teens (aka Mike Mongo's
HUMANNAIRES!)
is an actual working astronaut instruction manual. It is created tolet today's space-loving young students who want to live, work, and play in space know that they genuinely do have that opportunity. Just by their being 9-to-12 years old at this moment in human history, today's young students can be oneof the Humannaires*, the next-generation of astronauts, by the time they are outof college.
*(BTW the name "Humannaires" is inspired by the legendary outlier team, "the Legionnaires".)

from The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens:
If you are not yet inhigh school,
the next few years aregoing to be the most important for you
if you plan on being oneof the next kind of astronauts,
the Humannaires,
by the time you are inyour twenties.

Like many of us,
you areplanning on becoming a space-dwelling human being.
That makes you...a Humannaire!

Astronauts
and cosmonauts
and spationauts
and taikonauts
and gaganauts
paved the way for us.

Nauts were actually the first trailblazers to get off Planet Earth
and to go out into space.
In their time and even still today,
'nauts were unlike any other human alive.
'Naires are unlike even 'nauts.

We are the first humans to move out to space!
...

Advice That Stands
Even If You're Staying onEarth

Besides letting today's students know that tomorrow's jobs are in space, the Manual shares real science and insights into what is expected from today's students who want to one day live out in space. I have made a point of outlining exercises and practices of personal responsibility which will lead to developing skills necessary to becoming one of the next-generation of space explorers from Planet Earth.

Remember, tomorrow's space work force will not be dependent on simply physical capacity, or good looks, or gender or race or religion or preference or nationality, or military service, or even academic success. Tomorrow's space force qualifiers will be whether or not you can a student get the job done at least as well as their own peers!

You must know that The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens is not like other "tween" kids book. I believe the reason my quest to encourage kids to pursuecareers in astronautics and space-science-related fields is so well received bymy audience is because I challenge the thinking of youngstudents. Young people appreciate this, and so do adults. Of course, any kind of astronaut instruction manual that did not challenge young students would have to be a fake. Students would know it. Grown-ups would know it. Importantly, the coremessage to young persons is one of focus, diligence, patience, and self belief.

from The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens
You are going to haveto study with dedication
the school subjects you love best,
and to be well-studiedeven on subjects you love less.
And most importantly,
you are going to have toget your own mind ready for space
because YOU are going tolive in outer space.
In other words,
to make you ready forliving in space,
we are going to use tools of the mind.
...

The approach I take is direct: The very skills required to survive and thrive off-planet and in space are the sameskills required to succeed Earth-side. Ironically, I think the lessons are solidly grounding as it is precisely this sort of foot-hold a young student will need in order to successfully "launch".

Plus, of course, GREAT ART:
Illustrations by
the internet's most famous robot dinosaur, FAKEGRIMLOCK!


Books to inspire young minds must have engaging artwork. And a book to inspire young students to pursue careers in space especially so. The artwork must be fun, memorable, and it must connect!

To hold the attention of today's 9-12 year old, you have got to make art that speaks to today's 9-12 year olds.

Think sharks, ninjas, radiation, explosions, superpowers, lasers, volcanos, and, of course, giant super-powered, radiated, ninja-fied robot dinosaurs.

I am happy to report we will be using the fantastically engaging CC-licensed illustrations by the amazingly talented and most very famous artist thinker & giant super-powered robot dinosaur, FAKEGRIMLOCK!

As The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens is being published with a Creative Commons share-alike license, having FAKEGRIMLOCK's illustrations amplify the book's message increases both the Manual's accessibility and reach.

Blastoff!

Today's students must be met on their own terms. Humankind is readying now for our next big venture to space. And The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens is the astronaut instruction manual that gets the job done!

Young students today have an opportunity unlike any that has come before. As young students ourselves, most of us grown-ups never had teachers tell us of a space future where we could live, work, an play in space.

It is time for that to change and to let kids know:
tomorrow's jobs are in space and they can be astronauts. Or Humannaires!

By pointing the way to an inspiring space future, we can affect change in the world one reader at a time. Which is why I am asking you:

Please support The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens.

Thank you, and keep up the good work,

Mike Mongo
astronaut teacher


Read part of The Astronaut Instruction Manual
Chapter 3
a 2 minute read

Which lead us to our next subject,
Life.

Our life’s end does not have to be the end of us,
but it is the end of our turn. So, when and if we have to die,
make the end of your turn become the completion of an extraordinary life story.

Yet, if you can,
why not just keep on living?

If you can successfully avoid getting hit by a runaway helicopter,
or having an old satellite fall the sky and land on you
or any other unluckiness which today might otherwise lead to your demise,
and you keep doing so at least until the time that you are 20 years of age,
chances are you will live another 100 years...or more!

Such is the promise
of humankind's technological direction
at the very beginning of the 21st century.

Exactly how you will live another 100 years after age 20,
or what happens to make it so,
will be a surprise.

It wouldn't be called a surprise
if we knew precisely what amazing things were to happen
or exactly how such things were going to take place.


There is no telling what discoveries
and advancements will be made over the coming years!

Consider this.

Approximately one hundred years ago,
in the first decade of the 20th century,society was without telephones,
automobiles, light bulbs, airplanes, or even radios,
almost anywhere.

Most of the world had not even heard of electricity—
because at that time it took scientists and researchers
nearly three months time to communicate new ideas and discoveries
to the rest of the world.

Nonetheless—only ten years later— by 1920,
telephones, radios, light bulbs, airplanes, and automobiles
were seen all over the world!

And at that time the whole world worked together

to build highways
and runways
and skyscrapers,
and to put up electric power poles and radio towers
...as fast as possible!

In just nine years, our world changed
from “horse-driven” to “automobile-driven”,
and everyone of us alive then helped make it happen together.

Now think about this.

Back around 1915,
it took three entire months
to send mail from one place to another.
And then another three months to get a reply!

Yet still, by 1924,
in ten years time,
everyone alive experienced and discovered
a world which had been completely reinvented.

Jump forward again,
one hundred years,
to the present,
here at the beginning of the 21st century.

We have even more discoveries and more inventions.

We have antibiotics, x-rays, microwaves, jet planes, nuclear submarines,
and space vehicles that have taken humankind to the moon and further!


We have satellites, fiber optics, silicon chips, video games, personal computers.
Plus all sorts of other inventions, discoveries, devices, utilities, and tools,
some of which are still brand new,
like the internet.

Where one hundred years ago
it took three months to get a letter from one place to another,
with the internet it now takes just three seconds to transmit mail
to anywhere on the planet.

Distance hardly makes a difference now.

And where our predecessors were there then
as horse-and-buggies
were to be replaced by automobiles and airplanes,
today...

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What the Critics Are Saying
135 readers made this book possible
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Production Status
Marketer 1001513 10200405901652946 195022072 n Avalon Marissa Radys
Production Editor Kim keller Kim Keller
Art Director 03787df Brett MacFadden
65% Complete
start
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progress:
65%
in book stores:
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Manuscript Delivery Date
Mike's interstellar headshot
Jan 7, 2015
Copyedit Due
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Apr 7, 2015
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Who's Buying The Astronaut Instruction Manual?

Readers

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Book Sellers

Discuss The Astronaut Instruction Manual with the Author.
Mike's interstellar headshot

Another Milestone!
Advance sales are going well: The Astronaut Instruction Manual broke 600+ books sold:

These are advance sales. The number represents books sold to you-the-Backers and sales to chain and indie bookstores.

This is greatastic news! Why? Because bookstores, particularly indie bookstores, are places helmed by professionals with a deep passion for books who service the needs of other people with a deep passion for books

For myself, the only retail store I have spent more time in my life than a bookstore is a comic book shop, and those two are practically cousins. I LOVE BOOKS.

As an avid lifelong book reader and advocate of reading, in terms of fostering humankind's space future, our getting books into the hands of young students to encourage the dream of living, working, and playing space is one of the best things we can do. In the least, we get another reader. And at best?

We get a space future complete with trips to space and the moon and possibly the entire rest of the solar system. What's not to love? Books (and bookstores) rule.

Thanks again and keep up the good work,
Mike Mongo

Mike's interstellar headshot

The Greatastic Book cover!

Nearly six months ago, myself and Tess Klingenstein began discussing the cover. My publisher Adam Gomolin had connected the two of us. Tess was the editorial manager who was assigned to me and The AIM. 

Tess absorbed all the insights I had and then shared, processed, and time after time brought back greatness. We worked together while honing in on the look, feel, and design of the book. What visual and design cues could we use to get kids—and and grown-ups—to recognize this was no mere book? After all, we were creating an Astronaut Instruction Manual!

What we  wanted was a book cover that spoke to both grown-ups (buyers) and kids (readers), a book cover that outwardly radiated the same confidence, authority, and true fun of the writing to be found within the book. We needed something greatastic.

It was a challenge. And to their credit, San Francisco book designers, MacFadden & Thorpe rose to it.


So there you have it, the official finished book cover for The Astronaut Instruction Manual. Thanks to Adam, Tess, MacFadden & Thorpe, Lori Garver (for the gracious cover blurb, I am honored) and most especially all of you who lent your faith and support into helping us make a cover for a book that is genuinely greatastic.

Mike Mongo

Mike's interstellar headshot

Back from Havana II:
My 2nd ‘Astronaut Teaching’ Trip to Cuba

Earlier this year, I had the privilege and honor of being a US American space STEM educator to primary students in Cuba. It was an experience I will never forget. While technically, I was teaching students space science—“Tomorrow's jobs are in space!”—in truth, they were teaching me: “Los empleos del futuro están en el espacio!” The photo below captured the moment, one that I hold as a highlight of my professional career:Of course, I fell in love with Cuba. It is only to be expected considering the natural hospitality and generosity of spirit of the people of Cuba. However, little did I anticipate having an opportunity to return anytime soon. 

Sometimes when you least expect it, the best things happen.

So it was with real excitement that on the invite of a friend this past week I jumped at a second opportunity to teach and share in Cuba for a second time this year. My excitement was well-rewarded: I taught in two schools twice over two days to approximately 200 students. Including this class of familiar faces:
Everyone who knows me knows this is like being reunited with family. 

These are all young students who now understand their future holds the possibility of doing whatever career they want in space. “Los empleos del futuro están en el espacio,” and these students know it. In fact, they taught it to me!

Mike Mongo
astronaut teacher


PS big news to share about The Astronaut Instruction Manual—including a completed cover. There really is a lot to tell you about, so stay tuned this week and keep up the good work!

Mike's interstellar headshot

Wanted: YOUR OPINION
It's been a while but we have been busy. Leading the charge was production assistant (my very own) Tess Klingenstein. Tess and I spent hours and hours together this winter pouring over edits and designs as Inkshares put the work in for The Astronaut Instruction Manual. 

The AIM is an extraordinary book, and I can report with gratitude that the spectacular graphic design (by San Francisco's MacFadden & Thorpe agency) captures and catalyzes the message of the book for its intended audiences: pre-teens who want to live, work, and play in space. Yes, it has genuinely become aweseomer.

As a backer of The AIM, you are along for this fantastic voyage—from concept to reality—and so I wanted to provide you with a treat, a sneak peak at possible cover choices, and to get your opinions.

These are four of my favorites. These four proposed covers give you an idea of the eye-catching design within the book. Here they are: 
 




Study them closely. Remember, they are works in progress. Of course, I have a favorite. Which one speaks to you? Let me know what you think. 

Finalizing the cover, we put The AIM to bed—in June, it heads to the printers to be ready for October delivery.
Mike

Mike's interstellar headshot

NSS International Space Development Conference 2015

Good news! I am thrilled to report I have been invited to present as a space STEM educator at National Space Society's (NSS) 2015 International Space Development Conference (ISDC).

What distinguishes ISDC from other conferences? For one, ISDC is one of the largest space conferences in the world. For another, ISDC is open to the general public and allows for the average person—including young students and future space professionals—to engage with celebrated working space and science professionals.

With thousands of attendees—including students from around the world competing for science prizes—the interactions which take place at ISDC genuinely affect the direction of our planet's global conversation about space science and space exploration. 

For young fans of space and space science, ISDC is like WonderCon, the Oscars, and TED combined. Being invited is an honor, and as a self-professed geek and a new author with a book on the way—I'm walking on clouds today.

Speaking of the book, we are working on galleys (prelimary layouts with text and art) of The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens. Judging from what I've seen, Inkshares and I will have something by May in the hands of you, our readers and backers.

That's it for now. Thanks again, everyone, for all the support and kind words and retweets and likes, and keep up the good work. And if you have any questions, feel free to tweet or email. I'm here.
Mike

Mike's interstellar headshot

Cuban Space Program: Astronaut teaching…in Havana.

Two weeks ago, the day before I turned 50, I left Miami, FL, for Havana, Cuba. Being a native-born Floridian, going to Cuba was something I had wanted to do for as long as I can remember remembering. For me, Cuba has always been “the forbidden land”. Growing up on South Florida for almost half my life, Cuban culture is largely my culture too: the name Mongo is Cuban.

While I have taught astronautics before classrooms and audiences of students and professionals from California to Haiti, teaching in Cuba seemed unattainable, beyond my grasp, only…a dream?

As I am still working through details of what I can and cannot discuss following this treasured opportunity—as I understand, I was the 1st-ever US American guest of the Primary School—I will share more in the future. But I am happy to report: With any luck, somewhere in this photo above may well be pictured the 1st-ever Cuban astronaut from Havana. 

And the reality is that because of its vicinity to the equator, Cuba is an excellent location for a spaceport. Cuban space program, indeed!

Needless to say, I am honored and grateful. Connecting with students all over the world and pointing a future with us all, this is why I am an astronaut teacher.

Keep up the good work, everyone, 
Mike
PS Oh yes! We are working on edited book galleys now. Samples to come!

Mike's interstellar headshot

My favorite words of wisdom from Christmas space—Apollo Astronaut Bill Anders from the orbit of the moon, December 24, 1968:

"We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the earth."

Happy Holidays and Blessed Day to everyone! I give thanks this year for Inkshares and for all our supporters, not the least of whom is my own wife.

Glad tidings from Key West, FL, my friends! Have a lovely holiday!
Mike Mongo

Mike's interstellar headshot

Thanks. Giving.
It's a holiday weekend so I figured now is the best opportunity to deliver an update (after all, plenty of time on our hands).


pictured: Thanksgiving sunset 2014 by Astronaut Terry Virts

First, thanks everyone for giving. Your backing means that this book—The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens—has been green-lighted and we are readying now for publishing.

This past week, Thad Woodman and I conferenced briefly for the first time since the success of The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens ("The AIM") crowdfunding campaign. We even figured out a tentative publishing schedule.

One of the things I have learned is that publishing schedules pretty much circle around two sale dates, roughly March and October. Each of those dates has a 6-month lead time, allowing for pre-sales, publicity, advance reviews, etc.

What this means for The AIM is that our general public release date is going to be October 2015. Which is 10 months from now.

However, for backers, we will be producing a special edition. This is a special edition used specifically for advance reading copies. It is the finished book but otherwise not for sale. Thad and I are discussing when this edition is to be created, released, and put into our backers' hands.

In the meantime, some of you may have anticipated a copy sooner than that. Towards that end, I would like to make an offer.

If there is anyone who would like a copy of The AIM sooner than next year—say, before Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Chanukah—let me know. I will personally produce a hand-signed, custom-bound copy (or 3 copies for our Shareholder backers) so that you may have a working Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens in time for the holidays.

Otherwise, we will produce and distribute the special editions of The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens to you our backers late-Winter 2015 to begin readying for an October 2015 launch date of The AIM.

Again, thanks for your backing. We are readying for a launch that will put The AIM in as many young students hands as possible. We would not be here without you.

Let me know and keep up the good work.
Mike Mongo
PS ...oh yes! If you or someone you know would like having an Astronaut Teacher address your school or students, just let me know. I am constantly traveling and if possible I will be happy to include your classroom or school in my itinerary, or else build a trip around visiting your location.

Mike's interstellar headshot

WE DID IT—100% FUNDED!

My friends, family, fans, and allies: YOU ARE AWESOME! We did it! The Astronaut Instruction Manual is 100% funded!

Speaking of allies, special commendation goes to Bert Carson, the father of 13-year old future Mars walker Alyssa Carson. Bert watched the campaign like a hawk—then came in with the final $500 to push the crowdfunding up-and-over the top! When the email popped up with Bert's name on it, my very first thought was, “That guy! That guy, indeed. Great dad, great believer, great ally.

There are so many people to say thank you to (hello my wife Leonie) but first and foremost ALL OF YOU. What a great team we all are, old friends and new!

Do you realize what we accomplished together? Inkshares, you and I have funded the publishing a book that: 

  • is scientifically credible, intelligent, and fun to read;
  • will reach the hands of young students who dream of pursuing space and only seek some validation of their dream in order to believe it worth pursuing;
  • and that in fact gives kids permission to go after live, work, and play in space!

In other words, WE ARE AWESOME.

Keep up the good work, if you were all here I'd hug us all!
Mike


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BACKED BY US CONGRESSMAN JOE GARCIA
There are days, there are good days, and there are days that your book crowdfunding campaign gets backed by a STEM-supporting US Congressman!

Here's the tweet if you want to share the news (please do!)...
https://twitter.com/MikeMongo/status/534816359361019904

...and thank you, Congressman Joe Garcia (D-FL)! For your support of science and STEM education, we are honored!
Mike

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UPDATE #3 ALYSSA CARSON WRITING BOOK'S FORWARD

More really great news! “#1 Space Kid in US”, Alyssa “NASA Blueberry” Carson, has come on board and is authoring the forward to The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens.

Alyssa is an amazing person! Besides completing 14 Space Camps—including two outside the US—and being the 1st person to complete the NASA Passport program—going to all 14 NASA Visitor Centers the US and getting “stamped” at each one—Alyssa was recently profiled by BBC News and this past summer presented her first TEDx Talk. Pretty impressive for an individual who only just turned 13 this year! 

We are honored to have Alyssa write the forward to The A.I.M. As she herself puts it, “My generation is the people that will be walking on Mars.”

12 days to do—tell a friend: We are 35% away from achieving our goal!
Mike


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RACHEL ARMSTRONG ENDORSEMENT

Great news! TED Talks Fellow Dr Rachel Armstrong has given one of the strongest endorsements yet for The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens.

If you are on twitter, here's the link to retweet & favorite:
https://twitter.com/livingarchitect/status/530816000699400192

Keep up the good work, everyone, we are getting there together!
Mike

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TWO MORE WEEKS—IT'S GO TIME!

We are 35% away from hitting our funding, with 2 weeks to go. That's just about 2.75 backers a day. Meaning, we are green-lighted for reaching our goal!

Here is how you can help this weekend. Email this link to 2.75 friends:
http://kidastronaut.com

It's that simple. Pick 2-3 people you know will be interested—peers, friends, relatives, teachers, parents—and email them the link with a word or two of "YES."

That's it. Let's do this. IT'S GO TIME!
Mike

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LEE BILLINGS ENDORSEMENT

Terrific news! New York Times Bestsellers List author Lee Billings (Five Billion Years of Solitude) has given his generous endorsement of The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens! Check out the updated campaign page...

http://kidastronaut.com

...and share with friends. We are getting closer to our goal—all with your support!

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VIP MESSAGE FOR OUR BACKERS—GOOD NEWS FOR THE A.I.M.

Call it an 11th-hour reprieve. With days left on our crowdfunding effort, Inkshares has extended our goal deadline 30 days. Many of you may not have realized but this is a real crowdfunding effort. It is all-or-nothing.

Inkshares, publisher of The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens, actually met this AM and discussed our campaign. Spectacularly, Inkshares' board and staff are genuinely behind The A.I.M. "We all believe this book is going to be huge," Inkshares' General Counsel Adam Gomolin shared with me, "So we're sticking with it. We pushed the deadline forward 30 days."

In a word... Whew! I mean, Awesome. Thank you, Inkshares! Thank you for standing behind and believing in The A.I.M.

Now, what you-as-a-backer can personally do to give the campaign a real boost in the arm is take charge and share a personal endorsement along with this link... 

http://kidastronaut.com

...to individuals who you know would make terrific backers of The A.I.M. We are in it to win it—and this is a real grassroots campaign!

And stay tuned. If this campaign isn't exciting, I don't know what is!
Mike

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Alright, Team, saddle up.
We come on strong for the next week: I need you to "Share" a Facebook update. 
As of this AM, there are 72 backers. WE are the Dream Team. People trust us all and listen to what we have to say. That is real influence!
"Share the link, reach the goal!" Here it is:

https://www.facebook.com/Mikemongo/posts/10152483318606902

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The Pitch Video is here.
Last week, working closely with Inkshares and in readiness for our big push to space media friends and allies in the last two weeks of our campaign, we wrote, shot, and edited the Pitch Video for The Astronaut Instruction Manual.
It was 5 days and nights of serious work. (Not to mention it was World Space Week. More on that later.) A number of you became instrumental in getting this right—I'm talking to you, Jonathan Pidgeon, Marty Kahnle, and Leonie Thompson-Mongo—and in the end, I could not have done it without you.
And Adam Gomolin. Having a publisher who believes in your project is what makes Inkshares stands out.
Without further build-up, here it is: The Pitch Video.
Please share.

https://vimeo.com/108505844

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SO LONG, SISYPHUS/HELLO, TIPPING POINT—WE HIT 50% FUNDED!

HOORAH! Fellow writer and business owner (as well as mother to two of my top long-standing students, Bronza and Ganon) Ms Lara Fox, pushed us up and over the "tipping point"—we are now over 50% funded!!

 
So let us continue on this epic journey. As my publishers Adam Gomolin and Thad Woodman at Inkshares point out, "50% is great but every student in America should own this book." In other words, we are halfway there, it's true. But remember what Teddy Roosevelt said, "Believe you can and you're halfway there." Meaning, we were already halfway to our goal just by first setting out!

I do believe in space. I believe in space because I believe in the value of encouraging young students to envision a future that is 1) awesome and 2) has them in it. That's almost certainly like a lot of us all, and especially our backers.


[pictured: Lara Fox, on the bowsprit of her sailboat, DANGER'S PRIZE, pointing out the way to the future]

So let us continue on this epic journey. Share The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens with friends and family who you know "get" it, and who also are working for a hope-filled, fantastic future for our students.

With 18 days to go, we are doing great. And the more students whose hands we can put a book into that fosters belief in themselves and a hope-filled future, the better off we are all going to be. 

That's it. Spread the word: Epic journey ahead, thataway!
MM

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HEL-LOOO BEAUTIFUL! WE HAVE BROKE $5k FUNDED MARK!

The honor goes to yet another Icarus Interstellar executive board member: industrialist and construction magnate (not to mention life-long technology buff and career first-adopter) Mr William "Bill" Cress.

What a great kick-off to World Space Week 2014. Tess and Adam at Inkshares have so much in store for the next week. And we are putting the wraps on our "pitch video" as me enter the next 20 days of our campaign.

Thanks, Bill, great work team! Thanks for sharing, keep up the good work!
MM
PS If you are into cyberpunk & videogames as much as I am, be sure and check out Yann Rousselot's Dawn of the Algorithm—also being funded here on Inkshares. I myself became a backer of Rousselot's book today!

Lastly, writers and friends of writers, spread the word about Inkshares.com. For writers with great ideas and/or proven audiences, the crowdfunding publishing model is the best thing to happen to writing since Gutenberg.
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Oye backers,
When a peer supports you, it is one of the best feelings in the world. Now, my friend physicist Robert Freeland is one of those professional peers for whom I have the highest professional admiration and with whom I "occasionally" see eye-to-eye.

[pictured: That's Rob in the middle, sitting at my left. NASA engineer Rob Adam's hosted this group, some of the core members of Icarus Interstellar, at his home in Huntsville, AL, for last year's Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. Yes, my glasses are upside down.]

So today when I received the "You've got money!" notification with Rob's name listed, first I did a double-take. Then I gasped. Then I cheered.

...then, I lowered my head, shut my eyes and gave a quiet word of thanks—for friends and allies and supporters like Rob. Even though we argue, we agree: The value of space exploration for our future is bigger than any one (or two) of us.

Of all the backers of our crowdfunding campaign for The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens, Rob Freeland's comes along with a feeling of gratitude and appreciation that make me feel like we are taking on the world with our audacious goals and space science endeavors, and that by our doing it together we are making headway.

That's it. Keep up the good work, we are making headway:
One amazing backer at a time,
MM

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WE BROKE 45% FUNDED (all caps 4 life)
...actually, thanks to Peter Krynicki, Calvin Allen, Theo Glorie, and Sam Kaufman, we actually smashed 45% and are are nearer to 47%.

Meaning, we are very very near to the 50% funded mark. Which is so thrilling I can hardly begin to tell you.

See, next week is UN World Space Week. That's my week. I own that week. All week long, as a resident space professional, I'm speaking at classrooms around Key West, FL. It's one of my favorite times of the year. All week I get to meet with students and give them permission to imagine themselves living, working, and playing in our space future. For space educators, it is like Rush Week for future space professionals.

Here I am speaking before kids in Jamaica this April:

(BTW if you need me or another space professional to address students at your school about space and space careers, drop me a line at mike-at-mikemongo-dot-com. Time is short but I have connections all over the US for this, and especially Florida. And especially especially the Florida Keys.)

One more terrific piece of new: This year, I am a Keynote speaker at SEDS SpaceVision 2014 Conference in Durham, NC. SEDS stands for Students for Exploration and Development of Space, and SpaceVision is the largest single gathering of space career-minded college students in the US. October 3-November 2.

That's it. You have all put up money for this project. Your spreading the word to your friends on Facebook and in emails about this project does as much if not more (!) for the campaign as anything I can do. Here's the URL to share:
http://kidastronaut.com

Keep up the good work, next update at 50% mark,
Mike Mongo




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Great news—WE ARE NOW 42% FUNDED


(PS if you don't know the significance of that google "42 meaning of life". And read The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy! Because clearly everybody else has.)

OK, big thanks to our new funders Tyler Lee, Bert Whitt, Ross Williams, and Bernadette McCall—you all got us to this new peak: We are $15 from 43%!

On our campaign page, enjoy the video excerpt from my "Build A Starship" presentation at Starship Congress (2013) now posted. I believe it really captures what we are doing here, that is, giving young students permission to imagine themselves working, living, and playing in space.

Lastly, if you would like to help and be part of our campaign team, you can email me direct. Drop me a line at mike-at-mikemongo-dot.com.

That's it, thanks again and keep up the good work!
MM

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WE BLASTED THROUGH—30% BACKED!!

THANK YOU DENNIS BEAVER!
THANK YOU, (super intelligent human being) JIM HENDRICK!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, (my buddy & friend) TONY ESTENOZ!!
THANK YOU, (amazing music teacher) ROBIN KAPLAN!
THANK YOU, (new friend & ally) MORITA PAGAN
Thank you, Steve Smith. Thank you, Stacie Eggers! Thank you, JT Thompson!
Seriously, what a terrific way to kick off the final 30 days of the campaign.
This is how we win this, with backers like YOU ALL.

OMGoogle THIS is how I feel:



Backers, now that you're committed let the world know.

As a backer, the best thing to do is spread the word—on Facebook, Twitter, and email. Think of it like how word about Minecraft: Let YOUR kids know that they can be astronauts and that they are getting an astronaut instruction manual—and they will spread the news to other kids. It's a sure thing!

Thank you for backing The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens. Again, you all this is a terrific moment in the campaign! Great work, everybody!
MM






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WE BROKE 25% FUNDED MARK ...and are on our way to 30%!
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People always ask, "Mike, how can I become an astronaut teacher?"
So, here's how:

Dressing for Future We Want, not Future We Have
"I went from graffiti artist to astronaut teacher."
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WE HIT 20% MARK!
My google what a great milestone!!

Thanks to backers Charles Cohlt and Michel Lamontagne who independent of one another tagged-teamed the campaign backing and pushed it over the $2k mark—as of right now, we have reached 20% of our goal with 40 days to go.

That's AWESOME! Great work, team. Let's see what the rest of the weekend holds. BTW remember to share our team link on your FB and twitter pages. There are kids out there with "centauri dreams" who long to hear the magic words:

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"Have you ever thought of being an astronaut?"

Don't forget: The #1 way to makes guarantee space exploration is by getting young students today to see themselves in a space future.

Keep up the good work!
MM
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US1 Radio Interview—Mike Mongo discusses The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens. (Shout-out to Inkshares!)
Great way to start the day! Friday AM interview on Florida Keys radio station, US-1 Radio. Bill Becker is a South Florida news icon. Here's the link on Soundcloud. Thanks and enjoy!
PS We are less than $50 from the 20% mark! Go team!
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"Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf endorses The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens!

This week, none other "the Father of the Internet" Vint Cerf tweeted about The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens. Which was awesome. It couldn't get any more awesome if you an industrial designer and had got a note from Steve Jobs saying he "like that thing you made". It was that awesome!

Yet even more awesome was that Vint Cerf not only boosted The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens on Twitter. he did it on Facebook and Google+ too!

Here's the imgur screen grab of his posts.

I am asking backers to share the links below on your own twitter, FB, and G+.
Here are the links. Trust, your sharing reaches place I cannot. This means the world to me. Encouraging kids for careers in space is what is going to move humankind forward towards a space future. Thanks backer team, please share!

Twitter
Facebook
Google+

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We passed the 15% funded mark!
Thank you everyone!
Next milestone: 20%.

Here's a link the campaign to share on FB, Twitter, and Google+.
http://kidastronaut.com
Thanks, Astronaut Instruction Manual backers, we are doing it!
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SALUTE Astronaut Instruction Manual (AIM) backers, 

In a week's time, we have passed the 10% mark! W00T1! You first supporters, thank you. Inkshares has been an amazing group of people to work with and all your support makes their faith in The Astronaut Instruction Manual well-founded. This is most definitely a team effort.

Speaking of which: Thanks for all the shares on Facebook and Twitter, folks. It's allies such as yourselves who create winning traction. Twitter is especially important for crowdfunding

As many of you know (and some new friends are learning), I LOVE this kind creative enterprise. Trust, we will have special surprises coming up. But our goal is to inspire young students to look to space as their future...and we are off to a good start.

Once again, Team, THANKS. I welcome all suggestions, you can reach me direct at mike-at-mikemongo-dot-com. That's it, keep up the good work! MM