Communities can come together and do seeming impossible things. SETI @home depends on this community, and I have even seen the community of other BOINC projects come together to offer whatever support is needed.
We all enjoy science, and space exploration. SETI @home is the most popular distributed computing project out there because it captures the imagination, and challenges us. If it was not for SETI, I would not be working in IT, and would not be working towards a computer science degree.
Why is it, when it comes to space exploration, we are still waiting for organizations like NASA, ESA, and RFSA to send probes out to answer questions we are all dying to know the answer to. Is there life on Mars, Titan or Europa? what information would an orbiter of Neptune or Uranus send back to us? What kind of information will we discover about interstellar space if we sent out a probe that could travel 10 times the speed of Voyager 1 with modern technology?
I will admit, the funding for projects would be astronomical compared SETI @home's wildest hopes and dreams, and it will most certainly not happen over night. But it is far from impossible. First Baptist Church in Dallas had an ambitious plan to construct a 130 million dollar church, and it opens next month!
Leaving something we are all passionate about to world governments is insanity! We need to take things into our own hands. First, establish a non-profit organization. Next step would be is to hire NASA engineers or anyone else who can help design probes. After we have the money, start construction, either by the organization by itself, or contract it out. Once it is built, with any luck, we can hire NASA or whoever to launch it and use their deep space network to communicate with the probe.
What do you guy's think?