Planetary Resources is a space exploration company that has mainly focused on asteroid mining since its creation. However, one of the passions for this company is to make space exploration accessible to everybody. That is why they created the idea of the ARKYD 100: the world’s first publicly accessible space telescope. “The ARKYD is a technologically advanced, orbiting space telescope that will be controlled by YOU, the crowd, through your pledges and community involvement! You can even direct your telescope time to non-profit science centers and universities for use in your communities!” In order to accomplish their goal, Planetary Resources set up a kickstarter to raise $1,000,000 by June 30th. In five days, they are already more than two-thirds of the way toward accomplishing that goal.
Planetary Resources has several goals that they want to accomplish with this project. The first is to give students the capabilities to access space. This could bring excitement to younger students who are just beginning to learn about space, or even help college students who are writing a thesis on a space related subject. The company is even planning to coordinate some educational opportunities within schools to help inform students on the wonders of outer space. The second goal is to support important research and discovery. Many colleges and companies will be able to use the low-cost ARKYD to further their studies and research on space. The last goal is to build excitement about space and all of its potential. The ARKYD provides a fun and interactive way to explore space firsthand. Who wouldn’t want a chance to control a telescope in space?
The proceeds from the kickstarter will help support several aspects of this mission including launching the satellite into space, supporting the spacecraft over its lifetime, creating an easy to use control interface, and funding the creation of an incredible, interactive educational experience that can be used by schools anywhere, to enable students to experience space in a way that’s never been possible. There are also some pretty cool rewards that you can get in exchange for donations. For $25 you can send a picture of yourself up to space and the telescope will take a picture of that picture with earth in the background. For $99 you can get five minutes of observation time on the telescope. For $2500 you can send a six second video to the telescope to be played. There are several other perks as well; check out the complete list down below.
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