Planetary Resources Kickstarts a Space Telescope for Everyone

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Last year, Planetary Resources made a splash when they announced that they would be working to be the first company to mine an asteroid. Now, they're bringing space exploration to the hands of desktop explorers by launching a million dollar Kickstarter campaign to fund a space telescope.

The telescope, named ARKYD, is styled as a space telescope for everyone. Lower level backers can have a limited say in what the telescope’s objectives will be, while higher levels will grant educators time to use the telescope. One of the cool perks? Have your picture displayed in a screen with the Earth in the background. Planetary Resources is looking to net at least $1 million with their campaign, which they’ll use towards launching the telescope into space, and fund a user interface that’ll bring it to backers and the general public.

Numerous companies, ranging from SpaceX to Virgin Galactic have made enormous strides in the last couple of years towards building a private space industry, to great success. SpaceX has delivered its Falcon rocket to the International Space Station, and Virgin Galactic is expected to launch its first official spaceflight at the end of this year. This, however, is the first such method used to give regular citizens access to space and beyond. At the time of writing this, the project has gained over four thousand backers and reached almost half of its goal.

Interested in getting in on the campaign? You’ve got until June 30th to pledge. Be patient though, rewards aren’t expected to be fulfilled until 2015.

Image: Planetary Resources

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