Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 30, 2013.

Update #8

Stretch Goals Announced! We Need YOUR Help Hunting for Alien Planets

That’s right. We’re totally doing it... IF we can hit our ultimate stretch goal of US$2 million, we’ll be able to enhance ARKYD’s stability systems and dedicate time to monitoring candidate star systems for transiting exoplanets.

With NASA’s recent equipment failure on the Kepler telescope (RIP, Kepler!), our search for extrasolar planets nearly came to a grinding halt. If we can meet our stretch goal, we can resume some of this progress by enhancing the ARKYD. We’re partnering with exoplanet researchers at MIT to equip citizen scientists like YOU with the tools to join a search that’s captivated us for generations.

To help us get there, we’re also announcing three additional stretch goals. If we raise $1.3 million, we’ll build a second ground station at the site of an educational partner. This station will provide a 2x downlink boost, doubling download speeds from space. Two additional mystery goals will be revealed when we reach 11,000 and 15,000 backers! Believe us when we say: You’ll want to see them.

We only have 19 more days to meet this goal. If you haven’t already, please share this Kickstarter with friends, family, co-workers, random strangers, and help us enhance the ARKYD with Alien Planet Hunting technology.

Please tell us what you think about a mission to hunt for alien planets.

And of course, stay tuned, spread the word, and support ARKYD!

– Chris

Comments

    1. Pri_vertical_logo_profilepic.small

      Creator Planetary Resources on June 12, 2013

      @Sanjai Kukreti: Thanks for the support! We agree with you and that is why we decided to make this a stretch goal! Please share this Kickstarter with others so that we can reach the stretch goal!

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Sanjai Kukreti on June 12, 2013

      Gee, I really hope we make the stretch goal, because the loss of Kepler makes it all the more necessary to get more planet-finding telescopes out there.

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Joe Churchwell on June 12, 2013

      What could we do with many ARKYD 100 telescopes? Could we imagine an ARKYD array at some point in time for community use? I am pretty sure we could do better extrasolar planet detection with multiple ARKYDs if the distance between them is kept constant to a high level of precision.

      For the nerds out there... I am thinking Blind Source Separation would be useful to filter out noise. Having multiple sensors can localize and extract the signal.

    4. Pri_vertical_logo_profilepic.small

      Creator Planetary Resources on June 12, 2013

      @Richard Williams: Our anticipated capability is building on Dr. Sara Seager's work at MIT with a 3U Cubesat called "ExoPlanetSat". Unlike Kepler, we will be looking at star systems with known planets (determined through the radial velocity method), but not confirmable to transit because of the atmospheric instability. This allows to observe these in a rather narrow time window, instead of the multi-year stare that Kepler had done - similar for the gravitational lensing events. Additionally, the stabilization work to support this is related to our stabilization improvements enabled through laser communication, and can help with light curve measurement of Near Earth Objects. While we won't be able to rival work of Kepler or other large survey scopes, we can make progress in the meantime between other $500M+ missions.

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Richard Williams on June 12, 2013

      I confess I don't get it ... if you could do planet-hunting with a tiny 'scope like this, then why do we need multi-billion dollar 'scopes like Kepler, Chandra, and Hubble in the first place? It makes perfect sense for hunting NEO asteroids at this small scale and closer distance, and I'm jazzed about that step. But honestly, I find the exoplanet stretches my credulity about as much as it's a 'stretch' goal :(

    6. Pri_vertical_logo_profilepic.small

      Creator Planetary Resources on June 12, 2013

      @June Sky: Thanks for the great support! The best way that you can help us is to share this Kickstarter with everyone you know. Email friends and family, utilize your social networks, spread support by word of mouth. Anything that you can do to help us reach our goal and beyond!

    7. June_sky_profile_picture_june_2013_(stripe_final).small

      Creator June Sky on June 12, 2013

      UGH! I've already pledged my maximum amount ($200), but I want to do more! How can I help you guys get to your goal?!

    8. Photo.small

      Creator Jonathan Hammond on June 11, 2013

      @Michael McGregor well chosen stretch goals that generate excitement / make a KS attractive to new groups can be a powerful way to bring in backers and thus help achieve the initial goal. As long as an improved Arkyd would be genuinely helpful in planet hunting then I think this is a great stretch goal!

    9. Pri_vertical_logo_profilepic.small

      Creator Planetary Resources on June 11, 2013

      @ Simon Collander-Brown: Thanks for the interesting link!

    10. Missing_small

      Creator Simon Collander-Brown on June 11, 2013

      The size of aperture is fine Super Wasp is detecting transits http://www.superwasp.org/technical.htm but David is right sensitivity and stability are key

    11. Pri_vertical_logo_profilepic.small

      Creator Planetary Resources on June 11, 2013

      @David Rabanus: We are currently in the process of choosing specific components for the Arkyd that will allow it to make useful astronomical observations with respect to exoplanets.

    12. Missing_small

      Creator David Rabanus on June 11, 2013

      Do you have already defined which image sensor you will be using, which temperature sensitivity and stability it will have, and what the pointing stability of the ARKYD will be? If you can answer these questions with "yes", one would have to see which fractional dimming of a star's light could be detected with the ARKYD. Typically, a brightness change of 1:1000 to 1:10000 should do it. That means, that the stability of the signal-to-noise ratio of the image sensor should be better than this, and that over weeks in orbit. I would love to see that happen!

      And you are right, that competing with Kepler would be bold, but the engineering of the detection system should aim for stability, hence...

      Only I don't think it is enough to just launch it and see how far you get.

      Regards - David.

    13. Pri_vertical_logo_profilepic.small

      Creator Planetary Resources on June 11, 2013

      @Dave Meyer: Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. We at Planetary Resources are very excited about the $2M stretch goal. While the ARKYD won’t rival NASA’s $600 million Kepler spacecraft, we're hoping to resume some of the progress it was making. Here are some comments about the useful science that can be obtained by Arkyd from Dr. Sara Seager, Professor of Physics and Planetary Science at MIT: “The enhanced version of the ARKYD telescope will be an important source of data for exoplanets that can only be obtained from space, above the blurring effects of Earth’s turbulent atmosphere.”

    14. Dsc_0631.small.small

      Creator Dave Meyer on June 11, 2013

      with this little camera, no way.?

    15. Screen%20shot%202012-02-07%20at%2010.31.02%20pm.small

      Creator Michael McGregor on June 11, 2013

      but you haven't even hit your real goal yet....maybe think about that first before promising the universe

17,614
Backers
$1,505,366
pledged of $1,000,000 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    1865 backers

    OUR THANKS — This level gets you our eternal gratitude! Community access to photos, videos and updates as our satellite is built and launched. You will also have a say in how the telescope gets used.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    7208 backers Limited (17792 left of 25000)

    (Digital) SPACE SELFIE — Take a selfie in space. You upload your creative self expression (any picture) and we’ll capture that image on the satellite, with the Earth as the background. We will take the photos in the order pledged, so get yours first! You can track the countdown to your #spaceselfie on our app. Your photo will be sent to you, and (if you want) shared out on our membership site! NOTE: T-Shirt add-ons are also available! — We will also provide you with a pledge certificate shortly after the end of the campaign, acknowledging that your space selfie is in queue. Makes a great gift for the space advocate among your friends and family!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $39 or more
    You selected

    1353 backers Limited (8647 left of 10000)

    (Printed) SPACE SELFIE — This includes the Digital Space Selfie level. We will mail your two 4” by 6” prints, along with a certificate of authenticity.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $65 or more
    You selected

    2781 backers Limited (7219 left of 10000)

    (Digital) HD SPACE SELFIE — This gives you a 300% increase in resolution! This is our favorite level, because Earth is worthy of a few more pixels. NOTE: Printed HD Selfies are also available as an add-on!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $99 or more
    You selected

    1978 backers

    HELP FIND KILLER ASTEROIDS & ALIEN GALAXIES — Help protect our planet from hazardous asteroids and better understand the evolution of our solar system. On your behalf, we’ll give students and scientists five minutes of observation time on the ARKYD's main-optic! Virtually join a research team as a citizen scientist contributor and receive regular updates on their research and findings! You will also receive a (Digital) HD SPACE SELFIE before all lower pledge levels. + As extra appreciation, all pledgers this level and higher will get an annual membership to The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space advocacy non-profit organization!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $125 or more
    You selected

    275 backers

    (Printed) FRIENDS AND FAMILY PACK — You asked so here it is! Five space selfies bundled into one level, plus these perks: This five-pack includes two prints of each selfie. We will mail your ten total 4” by 6” prints, along with your official pledge certificate, to the address of your choice + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $8 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    998 backers Limited (2 left of 1000)

    PRIVATE ASTRONOMER — Pledge here and YOU are in control. Point the telescope at any celestial object (other than the Sun) and we’ll take an image for you – sent digitally to your desktop! + (Digital) HD SPACE SELFIE + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    43 backers Limited (457 left of 500)

    PRIVATE ASTRONOMER - PART 2 — Pledge here and YOU are in control. Point the telescope at any celestial object (other than the Sun) and we’ll take an image for you – sent digitally to your desktop! + (Digital) HD SPACE SELFIE + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $325 or more
    You selected

    62 backers

    (Printed) FRIENDS AND FAMILY HD PACK — You asked so here it is! Five HD space selfies bundled into one level, plus these perks: This five-pack includes two prints of each selfie. We will mail your ten total 11” by 17” prints, along with your official pledge certificate, to the address of your choice + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $19 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $450 or more
    You selected

    102 backers Limited (398 left of 500)

    (Digital) SPACE PHOTOGRAPHER — Take 3 of your own observations with the ARKYD! + (Digital) HD SPACE SELFIE + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $650 or more
    You selected

    35 backers Limited (465 left of 500)

    (Printed) SPACE PHOTOGRAPHER — Take 3 observations with the ARKYD and have your favorite shot turned into a large poster, with the reverse side signed by the engineering team and mailed to you. + (Printed) HD SPACE SELFIE + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $8 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    49 backers Limited (451 left of 500)

    PLANETARY ADVOCATE — Two tickets for a special event exclusively for Planetary Advocates that includes a tour of Planetary facilities where you get to meet the people behind the ARKYD, sign a roster that will go up on launch day, and leave the event with a 3D model of the ARKYD. You will also get group-exclusive quarterly briefings from the Co-Founders. + Special Limited Edition Mission Poster Signed by the engineering team + (Printed) HD Space Selfie (Prioritized to be one of the first we take!) + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,750 or more
    You selected

    26 backers Limited (74 left of 100)

    EDUCATION SUPPORTER — K-12 school, university, or museum (of your choice, if desired), will get the essentials to make Science & Technology come alive with the Arkyd: + 10 Main Optic Observations to be directed by the teacher and students + 10 (Digital) Space Selfies for the students to take + Educational Poster describing the technology that makes the ARKYD work. + Special Limited Edition Mission Poster Signed by the engineering team + Access to a curriculum and tutorial developed by the team at Planetary Resources, in collaboration with educators + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $2,500 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (199 left of 200)

    YOUR VIDEO IN SPACE — Upload a short 6 second video OR 144 frame flipbook-style scene to be displayed in orbit! The video will be recorded in time lapse (if desired), so you will see the Earth rotate beneath your video. We will send you the video file, with the option of featuring it on our site. + Special Limited Edition Mission Poster Signed by the engineering team + (Printed) HD Space Selfie (Prioritized to be one of the first we take!) + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    6 backers Limited (44 left of 50)

    EDUCATION AMBASSADOR — One K-12 school, university, or museum (of your choice, if desired), will get the educational experience of a lifetime. Access to the Arkyd, plus teaching tools to make Science & Technology come alive: + 25 Main Optic Observations to be directed by the teacher and students + 30 (Digital) Space Selfies and 30 Mission Patches to provide to students + Educational Poster describing the technology that makes the ARKYD work. + Access to a curriculum and tutorial developed by the team at Planetary Resources, in collaboration with educators + A full size desktop model of the ARKYD as a teaching tool with the pledger name (if desired) etched into it. + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    10 backers Limited (90 left of 100)

    BENEFACTOR — You are a distinguished visionary helping to invent the future. + One ticket to join Planetary Resource Founders & Investors at two major events – The Finished Spacecraft unveiling and the Rocket Launch Event. + Your name will be etched on the Spacecraft + You get a full size desktop model of the ARKYD for your desk signed by the engineering team (unique to this level). + (Printed) HD Space Selfie (Prioritized to be one of the first we take!) + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10,000 or more
    You selected

    27 backers Limited (23 left of 50)

    GRAND BENEFACTOR AND EDUCATION AMBASSADOR — This is our Highest Level and we want to make sure you are part of History! In addition to sponsoring the K-12 school, university or museum of your choice (Education Ambassador), you will receive: + (Printed) HD Space Selfie (Prioritized to be one of the first we take!) + Two tickets (You and a friend) to join Planetary Resource Founders & Investors at two major events – The Finished Spacecraft unveiling and the Rocket Launch Event. + Invitation to sign the spacecraft before it launches. Your name or message will also be etched on the Spacecraft – Visible to the world in every Selfie produced + We’ll name an asteroid the telescope discovers after you (first come, first served!). We'll use the name internally, but will also propose it as the official asteroid name to be recorded in the history books! + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (32 days)