Planetary Resources recently launched a campaign on Kickstarter for the ARKYD – the world’s first crowdfunded space telescope accessible to the public. In only 13 days, the company has already reached well over 85 percent of its original US$1 million goal. Today, the company is announcing that if the total amount pledged exceeds US$2 million in the 19 days remaining in the campaign, it will invest the additional funds to enhance the ARKYD space telescope technology to enable it to search for alien planets!
These upgrades would add exoplanet transit detection capability by enhancing the telescope’s stability systems and dedicating time to monitor candidate star systems. A special bonus is that this upgrade would also allow for better measurement of the spin-properties of asteroids, using the same technique. “While the ARKYD won’t rival NASA’s US$600 million Kepler spacecraft, which may have to end its mission due to a recent equipment failure, the enhanced ARKYD will be a huge step toward important new scientific discoveries enabled by citizen scientists,” said Chris Lewicki, President and Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources, Inc.
The company is partnered with one of the world’s leading exoplanet scientists, Sara Seager, Ph.D. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Seager, Professor of Physics and Planetary Science at MIT.
Currently the fund raising stands at about $855,000.