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The first publicly accessible space telescope! Take amazing photos of space or have your photo displayed above the Earth.
17,614 backers pledged $1,505,366 to help bring this project to life.

How we are moving forward!

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Hi Kickstarters, 

Tuesday was a rough day for us, but we’re already moving forward with vigor and optimism! As you may have heard, a rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded just seconds after launch. The rocket carried supplies for the crew aboard the ISS, and a number of small satellites, including our own Arkyd 3 (A3) technology demonstrator.

We would like to emphasize an important point: this spacecraft was not your ARKYD Kickstarter space telescope. It was a vehicle designed to test many of the technologies that will fly on your ARKYD, when it’s ready. Our philosophy here at Planetary Resources is to use space as our test-bed for testing all our technologies. A3, was simply, our first of many test vehicles on the road to YOUR ARKYD and asteroid mining.

While these frustrating types of setbacks do happen from time to time (it’s rocket science after all), we prepare for these challenges and have never been more motivated to keep at it! We’re already hard at work developing our next test vehicle, the Arkyd 6, which is planned for launch in Q3 2015. These spacecraft all help prove technology for the Arkyd 100 spacecraft that will deliver your #SpaceSelfies and more. We also want to thank the community for your outpouring of support! Events like this definitely take an emotional toll on our team, but what makes it so easy to keep our heads up is having a strong community of backers behind us every step of the way. Space is hard, and we witnessed that this week.

Here is our team with the "A3" prior to launch delivery.
Here is our team with the "A3" prior to launch delivery.

In fact, our very own Kickstarter Backer and Community Vanguard David Broiles witnessed it first hand. He was at the launch site, and took the video below. David notes, “Seeing it go up in space is very important to us, it means the start of something bigger, exploring and building in space, and that can help avert something that could be truly tragic. Not exploring, not building in space is even more terrifying than what we witnessed."

Want to know more? Check out our latest blog post from Planetary Resources’ president, Chris Lewicki, on what happened Tuesday and how we’re taking it in stride.

On another note, you may notice that our new website has a section dedicated to YOU, called ARKYD Headquarters. All updates from our ARKYD Kickstarter campaign page have been moved to this new site, and in the future we will be working to expand the ARKYD Headquarters into an engaging community hub for all of you.

We appreciate your continued support as we move forward! 

Caitlin O’Keefe

Community Foreman

Planetary Resources, Inc.

Exclusive update from Peter Diamandis and more on YOUR ARKYD!

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Hi Kickstarters!

Caitlin here, your Community Foreman, with an update...

SO much has happened already this Summer, and we are super excited to share updates on progress towards your ARKYD Space Telescope, and more.

First...WE HAVE MOVED!

Last month we moved into our new Asteroid Mining Spacecraft Factory in Redmond, WA. We have tripled our manufacturing space, and are quickly making our home here as we ramp up production on the spacecraft manufacturing line.

The technology and systems that make your ARKYD tick are being built within the walls of this facility!

Check out these great pics of our new digs.

Second...Planetary Resources in the Community

Education is at the core of the ARKYD Kickstarter, and since the campaign we have been visiting local schools in person (and even schools far away via video) to share the wonderful opportunities ARKYD will provide to enhance educational curriculum and curiosity.

Recently, I was honored to speak to the Eastlake High School National Science Honor Society. Over 100 kids from this group attended, and asked brilliant questions about everything from planetary science, the specs of the ARKYD spacecraft, and how to progress their education towards a STEM career. A truly inspirational crowd and prime candidates to benefit from utilizing the ARKYD that you are making happen.

I took this picture with all the kiddos to share with you! (Can you find me? Check out my sweet t-shirt!)

Third….Asteroid Zoo has launched!

As we announced, Asteroid Zoo is up and running. Our partnership with Zooniverse started in the midst of the Kickstarter to build a challenge that allows YOU, Citizen Science, the ability to search for REAL asteroids with your own eyes. WOWSA.

Thousands of users are playing the challenge and finding real asteroids! Have you found any yourself? Let us know in the comments!

Here is a picture of our lead Planetary Scientist and “Lord of Light”, Dr. Matthew Beasley (who has spent his career searching for objects in the sky), joining the hunt with Asteroid Zoo!

Check out the Asteroid Zoo website here and START THE HUNT!

Finally...“When do I upload my selfie?”

This has been a common question, so wanted to provide you some answers to clarify our status: 

For those of you who have asked “Have I missed something?”...fear not! We have not yet asked you to upload your Beta Selfie, or Spacecraft Selfie. Once we are ready to receive your image, we will notify you and send you directions on how to upload your image to Planetary Resources. 

As for our development progress towards your ARKYD, we are completing final system integrations and environmental tests right now on the A3 spacecraft that will launch later this year. The purpose of this spacecraft is to test all the new technology that we will build into your ARKYD. 

Here is an awesome picture taken yesterday of us getting the A3 ready for its vibration test - so we know it can withstand the vibration it will experience when it launches!

Your ARKYD is set to launch as early as late 2015 or early 2016. As we work through the development of this spacecraft, we will keep you updated on the status of when to upload your selfie, and when you can expect all other Kickstarter items to be fulfilled. Our next update will outline a roadmap of key milestones to keep watch for, so you know exactly what to expect and when.

Do we expect hiccups in the road? For SURE! When you’re building a first-of-its kind machine from the ground up there’s bound to be a few. Our team’s plans are super audacious, but we know we have the right people to execute on the challenge. We will keep you updated on the progress, challenges, failures and key milestones….and of course some other fun things along the way!

Lastly, our co-founder Peter Diamandis was at our spacecraft headquarters last week and filmed a secret update just for you!

We are super excited about the progress we are making, and want to thank you for your continued support on the campaign!

Have a comment or question? Write it below or send us a message on Kickstarter! I will respond personally to all inquiries.

Thanks!

-Caitlin O’Keefe 

Community Foreman 

Planetary Resources

Now YOU can hunt for asteroids with Asteroid Zoo!

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Hi Kickstarters!

As of today, YOU can be just like the ARKYD...an asteroid hunting machine.

Because of your support during the Kickstarter, Planetary Resources and Zooniverse are pleased to announce the launch of Asteroid Zoo! A challenge where you can look at real data we use today to discover near-Earth asteroids, and hunt for them yourself.

We challenge you to become the best asteroid hunter, and help humanity identify asteroids that could contain valuable resources, look like an interesting place to visit, or orbit a little too close for comfort…

Check out the video below to learn more or start playing Asteroid Zoo Now!

CLICK TO HUNT FOR ASTEROIDS

You can find the official press release from Planetary Resources HERE

-Caitlin O'Keefe

Community Foreman

Planetary Resources 

Spring is here...with A3, Beta Selfie and ARKYD exhibit updates!

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Meet Caitlin: Your Community Foreman

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The moment you and nearly 18,000 others rallied together to achieve ARKYD for EVERYONE, my team kicked into high gear to bring our ARKYD Space Telescope to the public. 

You gave us a community mandate that means much more than designing hardware -- It means bringing each of our supporters along for the journey: the ups and the downs, though rocket launches and beyond. 

We realized that we needed to bring on another rockstar team member to help bring ARKYD to YOU. We searched long and far, and are excited to announce that we have found the right person for the job. 

Meet Caitlin O'Keefe, our new Community Foreman. Caitlin is an uber space geek and propeller head with a sixth sense in marketing and social media honed to ninja-status after many years in the profession. Her personal passion is to spread the word of STEM education, and works with many local and national STEM institutions. 

Now, we are happy to add Asteroid Miner to her list of qualifications! She is responsible for making sure our Kickstarter community is fully informed, STEM and citizen science programs are progressing, and new initiatives are developed from Planetary Resources to bring the ARKYD to EVERYONE. 

You will be hearing a lot from Caitlin this year, and we encourage you to interact with her as well. Share your ideas, ask her questions and get involved! You can contact her through Kickstarter or any of our social media platforms.

Please join me in welcoming Caitlin! Watch this video for a brief hello from our new Community Foreman and let us know in the comments what you would like to see from Caitlin this year and beyond! 

-Chris Lewicki 

President and Chief Engineer

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