Arkyd Telescope Reaches $1M Goal, But Still Looking For Planet-Hunting Funds | Universe Today
Categories: AsteroidsAstronomy

Arkyd Telescope Reaches $1M Goal, But Still Looking For Planet-Hunting Funds

With more than $1 million in crowdfunded money secured for a public asteroid-hunting space telescope, the ultimate question arises: what about the promised planet chase?

Planetary Resources’ Arkyd-100 telescope reached its $1 million goal yesterday (June 20). But the self-proclaimed asteroid-hunting company has an ambitious aim to add extrasolar planet searching to the list if it can double that goal to $2 million.

The Kickstarter campaign for Arkyd still has 10 days remaining. To keep the funds flowing, the group behind it has released several “stretch” goals if it can reach further milestones:

$1.3 million: A ground station at an undisclosed “educational partner” that would double the download speed of data from the orbiting observatory.

Example of an orbital ‘selfie’ that Planetary Resources’ ARKYD telescope could provide to anyone who donates to their new Kickstarter campaign. Credit: Planetary Resources.

$1.5 million: This goal, just released yesterday, is aimed at the more than 20,000 people who signed up for “space selfies” incentive where uploaded pictures are photographed on the telescope while it is in orbit. For this goal, “beta selfies” will be taken while the telescope is in the integration phase of the build.

$1.7 million: The milestone will be announced if Arkyd reaches 15,000 backers. (It has more than 12,000 as of this writing.)

$2 million: The telescope will hunt for alien planets. Planetary Resources added this goal last week following technical problems plaguing NASA’s Kepler space telescope that could derail the agency’s prolific planet finder.

Also, a hat-tip to NASA’s Peter Edmonds, who works in public affairs for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, for pointing out the campaign’s Kickstarter video in Klingon. Check it out below:

Elizabeth Howell @http://www.twitter.com/howellspace

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

View Comments

  • I suppose if so many people think the tax money going to NASA is being wasted even as negligible as it really is, the best way to get around them is funding this kind of stuff directly.

  • I just backed this with a $65 pledge. This is the way we should be doing astronomy, not by government.

  • Lets say I hit a huge after taxes mega-lottery money of $500,000,000. I'd buy myself a used space-t-scope like Hubble when Webb-t-scope is up there. I'd make the Gov an 'offer they just cannot refuse. :-).. .

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts

Now Curiosity has Found Another Gas that Shouldn’t Exist in the Martian Atmosphere: Molecular Oxygen. A Sign of Life?

An atmospheric drama has been playing out on Mars lately. Up until now, the main actor has been methane, and…

1 min ago

What’s the Best Way to Sail From World to World? Electric Sails or Solar Sails?

A new study compares two potential means of interstellar exploration, which could have implications for both space exploration and the…

20 hours ago

Mars 2020 Rover is Going to a Place on Mars That’s Perfect for Preserving Fossils

Back in November 2018, NASA announced that the Mars 2020 rover would land in the Jezero Crater. Jezero Crater is…

22 hours ago

Weekly Space Hangout: November 13, 2019 – Dr. Rory Barnes talks VPLanet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAProRNgFFM Hosts: Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain) Sondy Springmann (@sondy) Carolyn Collins Petersen (TheSpaceWriter.com / @spacewriter) Veranika Klimovich ( @VeronikaSpace)…

1 day ago

Satellites Watched Mercury’s Transit From Space, Confirming That Yes, the Sun Has At Least One Planet

Do you wonder how astronomers find all those exoplanets orbiting stars in distant solar systems? Mostly they use the transit…

2 days ago

Carnival of Space #637

Welcome to the 637th Carnival of Space! The Carnival is a community of space science and astronomy writers and bloggers,…

2 days ago