ARKYD [ahrk-kid] is slated to be the first publicly accessible space telescope controlled by you. Through pledges and community involvement the project founder Planetary Resources is planning to put the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars into the hands of students, scientists and a new generation of explorers. Think about it, ideas we haven’t even conceived of can now be tested at anywhere from free to cheap prices, opening up a world of possibilities previously unreachable by the vast intellect of society.
Planetary Resources isn’t just a cute name. The much talked about company has been researching the potential to mine nearby asteroids for the past years. While most of us think of asteroids as boring, floating space rocks, they often hold vast quantities of rare minerals, ranging from crystals to platinum. The company says, “the first step to making this possible is the launching a fleet of ARKYD spacecraft to identify asteroids that are ripe for further exploration.” And as a big “thank you” for helping them create the new space telescope, they’re sharing the technology with the public, allowing access to students of all ages and support for researchers, while hoping to build excitement about space.
By supporting the project you get the opportunity to help decide which science centers and museums get access to ARKYD telescope time, what photos are taken, and more. You also get access to the website and mobile apps allowing you to follow along as the work on the satellite progresses (including videos and photos) while also being allowed voting access to help steer the future direction of the satellite. Did we mention you can even get your picture taken in space!?
Check out pitch video and infographic describing this amazing (and surprisingly tiny) space telescope below, then head to the ARKYD Kickstarter page to see loads more information, show your support, and get access to all this fascinating space exploration potential. They’ve already raised over $800k! [via]