Letter from the Editors: Why we're asking for your support

March 31, 2020

NASA Watch was born on April 1, 1996, 24 years ago, then the Astrobiology Web followed, and in 1999 we launched SpaceRef.

NASA Watch was a pioneer on the Internet, reporting on NASA like no other organization, and breaking news. The Astrobiology Web is a leading website that reports the most relevant stories and aggregates Astrobiology resources. When we launched SpaceRef in 1999 to aggregate space news, most of which was being sent to us, we never expected how big and popular the website would become, including an early partnership with the Discovery Channel.

SpaceRef Interactive Inc. is the corporation we setup to manage our web properties. Today an average of 150,000 people a month visit our websites, and for that we're grateful.

Since its inception we've never asked for support from our readers. We relied on advertising for the most part, and a few partnerships. The times as they say are changing. There have been three events that have affected our revenue: 1. The advent of Google and Facebook dominating ad revenues 2. The financial crisis of 2007 - 2010 and 3. The current Coronavirus pandemic.

So now we've decided to do what many others have done in journalism and that is to ask you, our readers, for your support. We've been considering this for the last couple of years. We don't want to put a paywall, as that would defeat the purpose of what we originally intended to do.

So if you think our websites are useful to you, and an important resource, we ask you to select one of our Patreon Pay What You Can tier options, or make a custom pledge and support us.

Thank you,

Marc Boucher and Keith Cowing
SpaceRef Interactive Inc.

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