This year 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. Everyone all over the world has a chance to participate in the events associated with the IYA 09. One of the projects was to make a telescope similar or almost the same as the one Galileo used when he discovered the moons of Jupiter and many of the other astronomical discoveries he made. The invention and use of a telescope changed forever humans' view of the universe. The telescope was made and sold over the web to individuals and to organizations who wanted to donate some of these telescopes to children's groups and other types of groups so as to introduce the universe, sky, astronomy to everyone in the world. In addition to donating telescopes which were very reasonable in price: $15 US, problems with light pollution and other obstacles to observing the sky.
I have ordered 3 Galileoscopes. Shipping was to start the middle of June and orders shipped according to the date the order was placed. I haven't received mine yet. According to some posts on "Cloudy Night" forums, some individuals have received theirs. The scope, although only 50 mm aperture (about 2") is an ideal beginners scope. I don't know if orders are still being accepted. There was a tremendous demand for them. If you are interested go to the Galileoscope web site.
Picture of the moon taken with a Galileoscope.