About this project
Missed the Kickstarter? Pledge during our Grace Period or Join the ARKYD cause at Planetary Resources: www.planetaryresources/kickstarter/
From all of us on the ARKYD Team – A Heartfelt Thank You! The ARKYD journey continues and we’re delighted to have you on board as we invent the future.
Our main video is now available in the following languages: Spanish (Español), German (Deutsch), French (Français), English, Croatian (Hrvatski), Hebrew (עברית), Russian (Русский), Português (Brasil), Swedish (Svenska), Japanese (日本語), Chinese (中文), Slovenian (Slovenščina) and Hindi (हिंदी) — We are adding new translations everyday! — Also available in Klingon.
06-30-2013 — Stretch Goal #3 Reached: We will now team with Zooniverse to develop a platform that will allow YOU to find asteroids at home, and help train computers to better find them in the future!
06-30-2013 — Stretch Goal #2 Reached: Every selfie pledge or higher will now receive an exclusive digital Beta-Selfie, taken in 2014 during the crucial integration phase of spacecraft build!
06-30-2013 — Our Final Day: Check out our $99 and Up Pledge Level Bonus Awards. THANK YOU for making ARKYD a reality!
06-30-2013 — Sir Richard Branson pledges $100,000 for ARKYD to support STEM education and space accessibility. With Richard's support, we have lowered all remaining stretch goals by $100k.
06-29-2013 — Stretch Goal #1 Reached: A second ground station will now be built, allowing us to deliver your images twice as fast! Onward to the Beta Selfies!
06-28-2013 — Planetary Annihilation: All pledges $99 and up receive a copy of Planetary Annihilation during its full release later this year, along with a special "Planetary Commander" avatar. Thanks to Jon Mavor and Uber Entertainment for making this possible!
Since the formation of Planetary Resources, our primary goal has been to build technology enabling us to prospect and mine asteroids. We've spent the last year making great leaps in the development of these technologies. These advancements have presented us with the opportunity to engage in another passion of our team:
The ARKYD is a technologically advanced, orbiting space telescope that will be controlled by YOU, the crowd, through your pledges and community involvement! You can even direct your telescope time to non-profit science centers and universities for use in your communities!
Just think about the true impact of this endeavor for a moment. Together we can provide access to technology that costs tens of millions of dollars into the hands of students, scientists and a new generation of explorers, who will use it in ways we can’t even fathom yet!
Our primary mission is to develop low-cost robotic spacecraft to explore and mine resource-rich asteroids within our reach. The first step to making this possible is the launching a fleet of ARKYD spacecraft to identify asteroids that are ripe for further exploration. This same capability has numerous other potential applications in education and research. The goals that we want to achieve with this Kickstarter mission are four-fold:
The engineering and development of the telescope itself is being covered by Planetary Resources, and we're investing millions of dollars in research and development to develop the ARKYD with advanced capabilities like photographing deep space and searching for asteroids. However, a publicly accessible satellite is very different from those that we intend to launch for the purposes of locating asteroids. The engineering and technological needs for doing each of those jobs are quite different.
US $1.3 Million — Downlink Boost: Planetary Resources will build a second ground station to double the rate of #SpaceSelfie and Astronomy data return and install this ground station at the site of an education partner.
US $1.4 Million — The Beta Selfie: Double your selfie experience and see yourself in development! Every selfie pledge or higher receives an exclusive digital Beta-Selfie, taken in 2014 during the crucial integration phase of spacecraft build! Become a part of the build and catch a glimpse of our clean-room squad in action!
US $1.5 Million — ASTEROID ZOO: We will team with Zooniverse to develop a platform that will allow YOU to find asteroids at home, and help train computers to better find them in the future. Support citizen science that helps astronomers to identify more asteroids today, and the ARKYD to find asteroids when it arrives in orbit.
US $1.9 Million — Alien Planets: We will add exoplanet detection capability to the ARKYD by enhancing the space telescope’s stability systems and dedicating time to monitoring candidate star systems.
Here's where we need YOUR help: The proceeds from this campaign will go to several different areas: 1) To actually launch the satellite into space. 2) To support the spacecraft over its lifetime — including manpower to facilitate the photos, "selfies", monitoring the spacecraft and training the staff at the chosen science center that will take over control. 3) To create an easy-to-use Control Interface that will allow ANYONE to access and control the satellite. 4) To fund the creation of an incredible, interactive educational experience that can be used by schools anywhere, to enable students to experience space in a way that's never been possible.
At its core, the ARKYD is a space telescope. The large, main optic is designed to take high-resolution photos of objects in space. What truly sets it apart is that we’ve engineered the spacecraft with an external screen and a camera arm, allowing us to take pictures of the ARKYD as it orbits Earth.
Your photo (or graphic!) will be displayed on the satellite’s external screen overlooking Earth. We will then take a picture from our camera arm and send the image back to you. This is what we are calling a “Space Selfie”. Be the first of your friends to claim bragging rights on Facebook. Send a picture of your family to use on your next holiday card and be as creative as you want! All of the Space Selfies can be displayed on our community page online (if you want).
Seeing a picture of yourself or your loved ones above our planet can change our awareness of this fragile shell nourishing all life on Earth. There are no borders visible from space, and the “Space Selfie” can provide a small taste of the “Overview Effect” (The psychological phenomenon experienced by astronauts who spend time above the Earth and feel the imperative to protect our planet).
Search for potentially dangerous asteroids or study distant galaxies like never before. Some photographic examples of the ARKYD's capabilities include: objects in our solar system, such as Jupiter and its moons, and distant phenomena, such as the Crab Nebula. The ARKYD will also be able to perform photometric applications, like determining the spin rate of an asteroid. Don’t know what object in space you’d want to take a picture of? Check out Google Sky to view some of the images of space we, as a species, already have. Here are some other examples of observations that will be possible with the ARKYD’s main optic:
For us, an important part of this mission is educating the next generation. You can use your telescope time to allow students to learn about the cosmos, or help researchers conduct important scientific inquiry. We’ll also be working with a science center or museum to create a special educational curriculum AND an interactive, ARKYD-themed exhibit is also currently underway. We've long wanted to create an exciting, immersive educational experience that will help schools around the world take advantage of this new technology. Imagine being able to walk into an exhibit and actually control a space telescope as it travels above us at five miles per second!
Space Sciences and Engineering are two of the most challenging subjects to teach in primary education. Students rarely get to work on any real science, and are instead stuck with theory that is difficult for many to grasp. The ARKYD brings these subjects directly into the classroom, giving students hands-on experience with a space telescope. They will learn how it is launched and how it works. Even more, they will get to use it to make their own space observations.
The details of the Curriculum and the Exhibit are being created as we speak. Below you'll find a list of educational elements that we hope to make a reality for schools around the world:
Advances in technology have allowed us to make the spacecraft smaller, more efficient and cheaper than ever before. These advancements also allow us to pack more computing and optical power into a smaller package.
Planetary Resources’ mission is clear: we want to mine asteroids by developing low-cost robotic spacecraft to explore the thousands of resource-rich asteroids within our reach. We will learn everything we can about them, then develop the most efficient capabilities to deliver these resources. Asteroid mining may sound like fiction, but it’s just science. Don't believe us? See what The Daily Show with John Stewart had to say!
We couldn't accomplish these goals without a world-class team. Members of our engineering team have helped build every recent US lander sent to Mars including Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. To learn more about our team, please watch this video:
Being able to support education and inspiration in our communities is very important to us. Many of us can point to specific people or experiences that put us directly on our path to the sciences, and space in particular. We've received broad support from museums and science centers around the country and we're extremely excited at the prospect of being able to provide them access to the ARKYD for use by their visitors. With your help, we can get the ARKYD in their hands!
In our post-campaign poll, be sure to designate your favorite museum or science center. We’ll use this information when providing time on the ARKYD to local communities! It could be from those referenced above, or one that is special to you.
Our Thanks — $10
This level gets you our eternal gratitude! Get community access to photos, videos and updates as our satellite is built and launched. You will also have a say on how the telescope gets used.
(Digital) Space Selfie — $25
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!
The selfie will be an ideal size for social media sharing or for printing photos up to 4” by 6”. Funds above the goal will go to more ground stations so we can provide everyone with higher definition selfies. Note: Photos must be appropriate to be shared on our membership site!
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!
(Printed) Space Selfie — $39
This includes the Digital Space Selfie level. We will mail your two 4” by 6” prints, along with a certificate of authenticity.
(Digital) HD Space Selfie — $65
(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. This selfie makes for an ideal 11” x 17” poster or high resolution desktop background. NOTE: Printed HD Selfies are also available as an add-on
Help Find Killer Asteroids & Alien Galaxies! — $99
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! Planetary Society membership (up to a $57 value) includes the stunning quarterly magazine The Planetary Report and special invitations to participate in community activities and citizen science projects.
(Printed) FRIENDS AND FAMILY PACK — $125
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.
Private Astronomer — $200
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! Each observation represents up to 30 minutes of exposure time on the space telescope's main optic. + (Digital) Space Selfie + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society
(Printed) FRIENDS AND FAMILY HD PACK — $325
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
Space Photographer — $450
Take 3 of your own observations with the ARKYD! Each observation represents up to 30 minutes of exposure time on the space telescope's main optic. + (Digital) Space Selfie+ 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society
(Printed) Space Photographer — $650
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) Space Selfie — Add $8 for international shipping. Poster will be approximately 11” by 17” on thick photo paper. + 1-Year Membership to Planetary Society
Planetary Advocate — $1000
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
Education Supporter — $1,750
One 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
Your Video In Space — $2,500
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
Education Ambassador — $5,000
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
- Benefactor — $5,000 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
GRAND BENEFACTOR AND EDUCATION AMBASSADOR — $10,000
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
Description of the Spacecraft Unveiling: Reserved for a very limited number of guests, this event will be the last time the spacecraft is viewable publicly before it’s in orbit! Select guests will have the opportunity to suit up and enter our portable clean-room to sign the spacecraft and send it on its way.
Description of the Launch Event: Join us on launch day at control central and be part of the energy as the spacecraft launches and we, along with you, send the first commands to the spacecraft! Festivities will follow with Planetary Resource Founders, Investors, and you.
You can add additional items to your pledge level by simply choosing the item(s) you would like and then following the instructions below to add to your pledge! All add-ons require base pledge to be at the $25 tier and above. Instructions for adding add-ons can be found below:
ADD-ON INSTRUCTIONS: To add an add-on to your pledge, follow these steps:
- 1) Press the 'Manage Your Pledge' Button above. If you have not pledged yet, it will say 'Back this Project'.
- 2) Increase your pledge in the 'Pledge Amount' box by the total of the add-ons you want to add.
- 3) After the end of the Kickstarter campaign you will receive a survey that will ask you questions so that you can explain how you would like the add-on money assigned.
Risks and challenges
Due to the nature of this project, which is bigger and more complicated than the average Kickstarter project, there are more risks and challenges involved, and there are a few extra considerations in addition to those provided on Kickstarter’s website. By making a pledge to Planetary Resources Inc.’s (“PRI’s”) Kickstarter Project, you agree to accept the risks as we’ve defined them below, and any other risks even if they are not explicitly stated here. In the future, we may have to request further information from Backers to enable delivery of the rewards; change the dates on which we estimate that the Project will be finished or we will be able to deliver rewards; or make other changes. PRI will do its best to notify you of any such changes via Kickstarter.com, its website, and/or any an email address that you provide. All questions or disputes regarding eligibility for pledge rewards will be resolved solely by PRI.
Engineering and Supply Chain — The ARKYD Space Telescope will change the way people view space, and we think that we’ve developed the right team for the job. We have the team to design, assemble, integrate and test our spacecraft all at our Seattle area facility. Doing everything in one place helps reduce cost risk (for us) and schedule risk (for you). That said, building a spacecraft is difficult and there are lots of uncertainties involved! We are constantly iterating our design concepts and prototypes. As a result, the end spacecraft may differ from current models. Our design may also be influenced by the Kickstarter process, and may change following the campaign based on input from the pledgers. We’re always ready to make design modifications to improve astronomy, education and the ability to display your photo in space.
Launch — To get our ARKYD into space, we intend to ride-share on a launch vehicle. This will help save on launch costs. However, as is true for any launch and ride-share, it opens up a few challenges:
- Shared launches can be delayed for reasons outside our control, postponing our ability to provide service.
- The orbital destination of the rocket may place the ARKYD in a non-ideal location. As a result, we may end up higher than estimated (minimal impact), lower than estimated (reduced life span), or at a lower inclination (preventing us from taking photos near the poles or in precisely the locations that you request or we may prefer).
- Rockets can fail, resulting in loss or degradation of service.
Launch risks are outside our control, but in the event that the worst happens, we will do our best to serve all pledges through other PRI spacecraft in development.
- The launch and operation of a spacecraft is technically complex and involves many risks beyond PRI’s control. PRI is not responsible for any failure to perform all or part of the Kickstarter Project if such failure is caused by what the lawyers like to call “force majeure” -- events or conditions beyond PRI’s reasonable control such as explosion, acts of nature, war, civil disturbances, acts of civil or military authorities, legal or regulatory changes, asteroid impacts, alien invasions, dinosaur rampages or other causes beyond PRI’s control.
Image Distribution — Managing and distributing thousands of images is no easy task. We are taking every precaution to deliver our “space selfies” and other images in a timely manner and to ensure images are not lost or deleted. We will be building a web-based platform to handle all of the image uploading and distribution, as well as partnering with established fulfillment houses to ensure all of our physical goods are delivered. The time required to fulfill all pledges depends on several factors including the total number of pledges received. Pledges will be fulfilled in the order they are received, with certain higher pledge levels having priority over lower pledge levels. We estimate that in some situations it may take in excess of one year to fulfill all pledge rewards to Backers of the Kickstarter campaign, so please be patient.
Obtaining Rewards--To obtain a reward a Backer must be verified following the completion of a successful campaign. All rewards are subject to availability and restrictions may apply as to when rewards can be provided. In the event PRI is unable to fulfill any reward for any reason, PRI will offer the affected Backer a fair substitution of the reward or will provide a full refund of the Backer’s pledge amount upon request.
— PRI is not responsible for lost or stolen rewards, certificates or tickets. Backers are solely responsible for determining any tax liability arising out of rewards provided by PRI. Backers are subject to and must comply with any additional terms, conditions and restrictions that may apply to specific rewards. Unless otherwise specified in writing in these terms and conditions or on the Kickstarter.com page, PRI is not responsible for providing meals, transportation or accommodation arrangements that may be associated with claiming a reward.
— Certain rewards may be subject to minimum requirements regarding age or other factors. It is the Backer’s sole responsibility to comply with all necessary requirements for the reward as described.
Backer agrees to hold PRI and its affiliates and subsidiaries harmless against any loss or liabilities arising from Backer’s participation in the Planetary Resources' Kickstarter Project.
Everything regarding the Planetary Resources Kickstarter Project, including the web site and all rewards, are provided “as is”.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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