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The first publicly accessible space telescope!  Take amazing photos of space or have your photo displayed above the Earth.
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.

Final Update and FULL Refund

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Greetings ARKYD backers! 

When we announced plans for our crowdfunding campaign, “ARKYD: A Space Telescope for Everyone,” the support from the Kickstarter community was (and still is) amazing! Our goal was lofty, and with your support, we raised a record-setting US$1.5 million in funds to support it. Thank you so much for the constant encouragement. You’ve provided us the support to try out a bold new idea with the potential for huge impact both on and off this planet. 

So far, we have fulfilled the many T-shirt, sticker, and poster Rewards. We’ve provided scores of memberships to The Planetary Society, codes for the video game Planetary Annihilation, and developed an educational rocket science board game in partnership with Xtronaut Enterprises. In addition to these Kickstarter-funded activities, we’ve also progressed on our company roadmap and built and launched two Arkyd-3 test spacecraft (the first didn’t make it very far off the ground!), and our two follow-on Arkyd-6 test satellites are finished and waiting for their next launch into space this summer. All this leads to the Arkyd 100 Space Telescope capability. 

When we closed the campaign in June of 2013, we were confident that the tremendous enthusiasm from around the world would translate into continued financial support outside of the Kickstarter community to move our idea forward… but, what we discovered was unfortunate. Aside from all the progress we made in the underlying technology, the follow-on interest from the business and educational sectors to expand the ARKYD campaign into a fully-supported mission did not exist as we had anticipated. We have explored and exhausted a variety of opportunities big and small for the financial backing necessary to complete the project. 

Due to the lack of necessary follow-on support, we are saddened to announce that we are unable to fulfill the “ARKYD: A Space Telescope for Everyone” campaign. While we regret we must wind-down the project, we are pleased that we can offer each of our 17,614 backers an immediate and FULL REFUND, with our sincere thanks for your longstanding support. 

We've never been stronger in pursuing our goal of prospecting and mining asteroids, and you can read a recent update about our progress here.

So what happens now? 

You may request your refund according to the following refund policy and notification of refund: 

Each ARKYD Kickstarter backer will receive an e-mail with a personalized refund link (do not share this link with anyone). Refund request submissions must be made to the company by following this personalized refund link. We have used the email you have currently have on file with Kickstarter, so if this is not correct, please reach out to us HERE

Once you receive your personalized refund email, follow the instructions to complete the refund form. The form must be completed accurately and in its entirety. The refund form will provide you with options to claim your refund either by check or through PayPal. Refunds may take up to thirty (30) days to process. We reserve the right to verify information contained on the refund request form. Requests that include illegible, missing, or erroneous information may be returned to you for correction, which may cause delay in the issuance of your refund. We reiterate that you will receive a FULL REFUND, and will not be charged for any transaction fees or pledge rewards you may have already received. We have you covered. 

You will have 45 days from Thursday May 26, 2016 to accurately and fully complete and submit to us your refund request form. We will not honor refund requests following the the deadline of Monday, 11 July 2016. Alternatively, you may mail your request form to us in hardcopy format to the following address: ATTN: ARKYD Kickstarter Refund, 6742 185TH AVE NE, Redmond, WA 98052. We are not responsible for lost or undeliverable mail. If you do not respond to this notification, as a courtesy we will make a reasonable effort to notify you of the refund offer. Ultimately, requesting a refund is your responsibility and we will make no further attempts to contact you following the deadline. 

It is with heavy heart that we share this news. The Kickstarter community is stellar and we continue to be inspired by your passion as we make our way into the Cosmos. One of the things we enjoy most in building technology to explore space is sharing that journey with others. You can rest assured we will continue to take you on our journey as we make our way to the asteroids and beyond. 

Sincerely, 

Chris Lewicki 

Your biggest fan & Chief Asteroid Miner, Planetary Resources, Inc.

Comments

    1. Planetary Resources Creator on July 6

      Thanks @Marc! We are thrilled to have had you as a backer, and a continued part of our mission. You will often see the No Sleep tshirt in the hallways here at Planetary Resources :)

    2. Planetary Resources Creator on July 6

      Hi All,

      If you submitted a payment more than 10 business days ago on PayPal (this ONLY pertains to PayPal, not checks), and have not yet received your payment, it is likely due to one or more of the following issues with your PayPal account:

      -Did you provide the proper PayPal email/mobile number for your account? If not, please send us the correct email/mobile number for your PayPal account.
      -Does your account have limited access? If so, you will need to contact PayPal to lift these limitations.
      -Did you claim your payment within the 30 days that PayPal allows you to claim your payment, before it is returned to Planetary Resources? If you missed the timeframe to claim your payment, please email me and I will resubmit your payment: kickstarter@planetaryresources.com
      -Do you have a PayPal account? If not, please create one and send us your PayPal ID so I can resubmit your payment. kickstarter@planetaryresources.com
      -Does your country accept PayPal? Check this list, if your country is not on it, we can work with you to get your payment in another way: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr…

      -Is the email you provided for PayPal payment, added to your PayPal account? If not, add your email to your PayPal account, and the payment should then go through.
      -Is there any other reason your payment could have been denied or cancelled?

      If you think you might be experiencing one of these issues, please first contact PayPal customer service to resolve.

      Then, email us so we can resubmit your payment if needed: kickstarter@planetaryresources.com.

      As long as you submit your request by July 11th, 2016, we will ensure you get your FULL refund.

      Thanks!
      Caitlin O'Keefe
      Director of Marketing
      Planetary Resources

    3. Planetary Resources Creator on July 6

      @Scott can you email me your information so I can look up your account and see what is happening with your payment? Thanks so much! kickstarter@planetaryresources.com -Caitlin

    4. Kelly Havlik on July 5

      Good insight, Scott, and yes, I see that their project is still progressing in a different fashion. 1.5MM makes a nice, interest accruing "loan" for them and their only repayment of this loan is based on the original note. They pocket the interest they've earned for the past three (?) years! The interest alone from their investment is staggering. What a nice deal for them. Kickstarter should prosecute folks like this (or we should). What they should be refunding to us is our initial outlay plus any interest they earned during the three years (?) that they had our money!

      I have invested in several kickstarter projects, most of which had significant delays from what was promised and some of the products were a bit iffy but, in all other cases, I've ALWAYS received the end product. I had planned to use this "selfie in space" from ARKYD with my daughter as a Christmas card but now she's in college. Ridiculous and fraudulent! Should be prosecuted.

    5. Scott Medwid on July 4

      I sent the refund form in a month ago (via the link) but I have not gotten a check yet or any communication from the company.

      Note: the day you folks announce the refund to your KickStarter backers you announce a big private equity funder is on board with you. So many of us "believers" learned a lesson. My question is this; What future idea from an earnest start up is NOT going to get Kickstarted because of this bait and rebate low cost loan scheme of yours?

    6. Darrell Thompson on June 22

      Apply the money to R&D, we need that more than I need a refund.

    7. Missing avatar

      marc on June 22

      Thanks Caitlin, different Browser did the trick. My no sleep till orbit T-shirt is still one of my favorites and I'd happily re-pledge if ARKYD ever tries again. You've been very generous with your refund policy, and your idea was a worthy one.

    8. Jozape on June 22

      This sure is taking a long time. Should I just try to send a refund request again? I'm not sure how the system on your end works or if it's even functioning properly, so I don't want to get two refunds from you by accident.

    9. Jozape on June 16

      Okay. E-mail sent.

    10. Planetary Resources Creator on June 16

      @Jozape: send me an email and I can look into this for you. Thanks! kickstarter@planetaryresources.com

      @Marc: a couple people have had the same thing, but we have confirmed our certificate is safe. Maybe try another browser, or network?

      Thanks!
      Caitlin

    11. Missing avatar

      marc on June 15

      Its a shame investors have been so short sighted.
      I tried the refund link but Firefox flagged it as an insecure link, so was the help link.
      Has anyone else met this probllem?

    12. Missing avatar

      Michael Psarouthakis on June 15

      Sorry to hear this news and kudos to you for offering refunds! What I would suggest is that the company explore equity crowdfunding, which just went legal on May 16th, or explore accredited investor crowdfunding like Angel List. I would really like to put my refunded pledge back to work with your company! Good luck and keep pushing forward!

    13. Missing avatar

      Lewis Ross-Jones on June 15

      Well, that's a shame. The first project I ever backed on Kickstarter and it's a damp squib.

      I'm not sure I fully understand; you're still planning to develop the Arkyd 100, so why back out of this project?

    14. Jozape on June 14

      I have to say that this is a very classy act by Planetary Resources. Too bad nobody was as interested as we the backers in funding this! I was so interested that I pledged more money in this KickStarter than any other before and after.

      I am not certain that my refund successfully submitted, though. I just filled out the link sent to my e-mail, and after clicking submit, I got a mostly blank page with only a Planetary Resources logo at the top. Is there supposed be a confirmation that my refund was successfully submitted?

    15. Missing avatar

      David Rabanus
      Superbacker
      on June 14

      Dear PlanetaryResources team, thanks for the offer of a refund! Sad to hear that it did not work out as expected, as a space selfie would be really something...

      Is there a way for you to keep my pledge funds for a particular purpose in your company?

      Regards and all the best - David

    16. Missing avatar

      David Sheldon on June 14

      I pledged the $25 three years ago because 1) that's an amazing deal on a space-selfie, and 2) I believe in what you are trying to accomplish. It saddens me to hear that you weren't able to get the follow-on support that you needed, yet I can understand why investors would be wary. As for me, I won't miss the $25 and won't be requesting a refund, I would rather that this project continues down to the very last penny. Best of luck to you all :)

    17. Planetary Resources Creator on June 13

      @Anton: I have responded to you via email, let me know if you need anything else. Thanks! Caitlin

    18. Planetary Resources Creator on June 13

      @John C: I have reached out to you via email. Let us know if you still need help my sending us a note at kickstarter@planetaryresources.com. Sometimes with gmail accounts, the email is going into the "promotions tab" so you might look there. Thanks! Caitlin

    19. John Christou on June 10

      i never received my refund email link. please resend, thanks

    20. Missing avatar

      Anton Kurkin on June 7

      I sent a message to kickstarter@planetaryresources.com at May 27th and didn't get a reply yet. Delay is understandable, just want to be sure it wasn't lost

    21. Missing avatar

      David Leacy on June 6

      Thanks for the memories. Ive never been so interested in a space program.

    22. Planetary Resources Creator on June 6

      @Ronnie: I just re-sent your link to you. Let me know if you do not get it by emailing me at kickstarter@planetaryresources.com. Thanks! Caitlin

    23. W. Scott Meeks
      Superbacker
      on June 5

      To follow up on Ken Burwood's thoughts, my pledge was small enough for my budget and my interested in your core business keen enough, that I'm okay with letting you keep my contribution. Is there anyway to indicate that? I assume otherwise you'll have to follow up with anyone who does not request a refund.

    24. Missing avatar

      Ken Burwood on June 3

      Sad to hear, it was a great idea. I'm surprised that there wasn't more interest from at least the educational field--the educational potential of the ARKYD project was the entire reason that I backed it, I didn't care about the selfie myself.

      I'm still contemplating whether I'll ask for a refund. I don't normally ask for refunds, since the couple projects that have failed have been small teams who tried, so I didn't mind letting it go even if they did offer some refunds. However, since you're a full-blown business and you've got the funding that you need for your main business, then I might consider it in this case--or more likely, ask if you can simply donate my refund to The Planetary Society. But, on the same hand, I like the idea of your core business too, so I wouldn't be averse to letting you keep the funding either.

      To all of those who are complaining about it being an "interest free loan" and about the 21M in funding, you are completely incorrect in your assumptions.

      You've forgotten that the ARKYD project was a specific SIDE-project for Planetary Resources, that was for educational purposes, and it would in fact require continued support even after the physical satellite itself was completed and launched. The ARKYD project was going to piggy-back on the R&D from their main business and use one of the resulting satellites, along with all of the necessary resources for managing the satellite and it's educational program after launch (managing usage time for schools, maintenance, personnel, etc).

      The ARKYD funding was NOT for the creation of Planetary Resources as a business, nor was it for the research and development of their satellite technology. The satelites were already going to be built for use in their asteroid mining business, completely independently of this project. Planetary Resources was extremely clear about this when the project was originally underway.

      It was that R&D, along with our initial funding, plus the future funding that they had hoped to get from the educational and business sectors that were going to enable them to also do the ARKYD as a sibling project. The ARKYD project is what has failed to survive, due to lack of needed interest from the business and educational communities.

      The 21M in funding that Planetary Resources has received is NOT for the ARKYD project, it's for their main business--two separate things.

      This was NOT an interest-free loan for them, since this money was never for the purpose of building their business--it was ONLY for the ARKYD project, and that has sadly failed. They've in fact eaten a huge chunk of money by giving us full refunds, since they had to pay Kickstarter fees, credit card fees and taxes on all of that money when they collected it. So yes, their offer of a full refund is in fact very thoughtful, and honest of them, and its much appreciated.

    25. Planetary Resources Creator on June 1

      Hi All, a few backers with @gmail.com emails have noted the refund email is going to their "promotions" tab. Just a heads up in case you don't see the email with the unique link to your refund, that it might be in this tab. Thanks! Caitlin

    26. drow on June 1

      kickstarter has got to be one of the worst ways to secure a loan. that it has effectively worked out something like that HAS NO BEARING on the motives and intentions of planetary resources. their original plan didn't pan out, they've had to pivot to survive, and are giving back what they can no longer use the way they hoped to use it. and since its a full refund, they're apparently eating the spent costs of the secondary rewards they've already sent. very sad, but far short of duplicitous or underhanded. my 2cp.

    27. Simon Drake on June 1

      I still like the idea and maybe one day we will get to fund a privately owned Earth and Space Observational CubeSat.
      http://www.spaceventuresinvestors.com/
      Planetary Resources has done well, and it's good to get a refund.

    28. Planetary Resources Creator on May 31

      @GEOFFERY R DUGDELL, I see you have successfully submitted your refund request. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks! Caitlin

    29. Planetary Resources Creator on May 31

      @Ren, send me an email so I can resend your refund link: kickstarter@planetaryresources.com.

      Also, for those who have already submitted their refund requests, we are working on getting everyone's funds to them in the 3-4 week timeline (or sooner) we stated in the refund form and customer service page FAQ's here: https://kickstarter.planetaryresources.com/…

      Thanks!
      Caitlin

    30. Missing avatar

      Dan on May 30

      I appreciate that they're honoring the rules and refunding after not being able to deliver. It's nevertheless disappointing that they won't be delivering. I am curious about this "extra spectral" business and how it could be new given that Landsat data sets have been "multispectral" since the 1970s.

      Hopefully they have an answer for long term calibration and correction of data. And maybe they will even keep some data open to the public. USGS/EROS provides some really nice pictures of the Earth.

    31. Chris 'Spuggy' Yarrow on May 30

      Dick move. I hope Kickstarter blocks any future funding attempts.

    32. Missing avatar

      Jamie Kinney on May 29

      @ren received the email link a few days ago. Refunds take 5-10 days to process through to Paypal.

    33. Ren Shredder on May 29

      Anyone already get their e-mail with the refund link?

    34. Kenrick Encinas on May 29

      those who are convinced that this was some underhanded loan, really need to understand the concept of evidence better.

    35. Missing avatar

      Paul Eipper on May 28

      You've made two young girls very sad today. My goddaughter and her sister were excited to have their pictures in space and be a part of a new space age where everyone could be involved. Thanks for destroying that today.

    36. Cervator on May 28

      While I am disappointed I can understand what happened, although you could have announced it better rather than with the odd disconnect from the other big news about your CERES project and related investment.

      Why not just state it as it (likely) is - the lack of interest prevented you from moving on, but rather than fold entirely you managed the good old "pivot" to salvage / save the company by moving to CERES, and attracted an investment with a negotiated piece somewhere allowing you to offer the refunds?

      If you came right out and said it that way I think more people would understand and be less upset, rather than believe you used the community as a spring board to attract investment money for something else.

      As-is this does set a really poor precedent. I wish you the best of luck in getting back to the original mission one day.

    37. Don Reba on May 28

      For several commenters calling the Kickstarter money an interest-free loan, consider that in offering full refunds, they are eating significant fees from Amazon and Kickstarter, as well as taxes.

    38. Stephen Dahlke on May 28

      While the refund is appreciated in the least-you-could-do sense, I'm really not convinced that this project has suddenly become unfeasible, considering the $21.5 million bucks you just told me you were given.

      Using backers as an interest-free, no-risk loan (even if you have opted to repay it rather than default on it) is an abuse not only of Kickstarter, but also individual trust.

      I genuinely believed in what this project set out to do. I was excited. Now, I'm left with nothing but disappointment and regret.

      Refunding the money doesn't undo the broken promises of the campaign, nor the general distrust this will instill an any such future projects by yourself or other entities. The next time someone comes along to crowdfund a space mission, they'll be up against the stigma that you've brought to the whole concept.

      That's the biggest disappointment; not that you backed out on me and all the rest of the backers, but that you've disgraced the whole idea of spacebound citizen-science.

      I had honestly expected better of this campaign and the people behind it.

    39. GEOFFERY R DUGDELL on May 27

      You guys are not making it easy. All I'm getting our error messages . Rip off rip-off rip-off. I say if anyone knows how to then let's get a class action together to sue these guys out of space and time! I'm tired of all the excuses. This is my first and last experience on Kickstarter as I am so poor I'm just about homeless. Tired of being ripped off by rich people. No more!

    40. Planetary Resources Creator on May 27

      @Krom: Send us an email at Kickstarter@PlanetaryResources.com and we will make sure you get your refund. Thanks! Caitlin

    41. Planetary Resources Creator on May 27

      @Jeremy Bridges: Email us at Kickstarter@PlanetaryResources.com and I can help you out. Thanks! Caitlin

    42. Jeremy Bridges on May 27

      How can I request the refund email be resent? I never received mine and want to respond before the deadline.

    43. Mike Maddox on May 27

      The problem was, how were they going to get this to space? Someone would have to let them send it up, and I suppose no one has.

    44. Missing avatar

      Krom on May 27

      Uhm, I don't have PayPal and I don't live in the U.S. What to do now? I doubt you issue refunds in bitcoins, do you?

    45. Palindrome Bob-XSF-I'm in AGL589-BG5.22
      Superbacker
      on May 27

      Ack, really bummed my Space selfie won't be possible. :( Reading the comments I know why it's impossible. I dare to use the word 'unethical'. I've had refunded projects before, so this isn't the first one. On one occasion, I declined the refund, but that pledge was small. This one's bigger, so I'll be taking that refund. I too now have lost all trust in Planetary Resources and hope they will not be able to do any more crowdfunding in the future.

    46. alcaray on May 27

      So Planetary Resources just changed their minds? I hope they don't plan to use crowdfunding for anything in the future. This seems like a definite misuse to me and I hope the community would not let you do it to them again.

    47. Missing avatar

      Giampaolo Frello on May 27

      I lost any trustness in Planetary Resources. Since the day I backed this project I received only letters asking for more money and donations and received no information about the project.
      And now this insult.

    48. WishItWas1984 on May 26

      What I'm sad about are the idiotic comments of being ok with this or actually still liking this company enough to not take your money back. Fools and their money, etc..

      Horribly unprofessional to know full well your requested goal wasn't going to be enough to get it done. I refuse to believe you didn't realize the costs of this going in. As actual rocket scientists I would expect that you would know how to budget a project.

      Then radio silence without keeping your backers in the loop at all with what was going on. Also unprofessional and lacking of basic decency on how to act to people who gave you money, and backed your project.

      The fact that we're getting our money back smacks not of your amazing generosity, but of the windfall of 21 million to allow you to do so and try to save some good will. Imagine the uproar of getting 21 million from investors and not stipulating the original backers be repaid for breaking your promise?

      This all reeks of disingenuous, corporate BS.

    49. Jason Montgomery on May 26

      I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed, my space selfie was going to be my Christmas card that year. But I appreciate the refund, and wish Planetary Resources the best of luck in the future. Companies like you are making it.

    50. Thomas E. Dalsin on May 26

      You can take your refund and shove it - I refuse to take back my money.
      The excitement and hope you've given me is well worth every penny.
      I wish that other will do the same as I am doing. I believe in you guys, no matter what!