by Planetary Resources
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.
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.
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.
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.
those who are convinced that this was some underhanded loan, really need to understand the concept of evidence better.
Anyone already get their e-mail with the refund link?
@ren received the email link a few days ago. Refunds take 5-10 days to process through to Paypal.
Dick move. I hope Kickstarter blocks any future funding attempts.
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.
@Ren, send me an email so I can resend your refund link: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/…
@GEOFFERY R DUGDELL, I see you have successfully submitted your refund request. Let me know if you need anything else. Thanks! Caitlin
I still like the idea and maybe one day we will get to fund a privately owned Earth and Space Observational CubeSat.
Planetary Resources has done well, and it's good to get a refund.
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.
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
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.
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.
@Ronnie: I just re-sent your link to you. Let me know if you do not get it by emailing me at email@example.com. Thanks! Caitlin
Thanks for the memories. Ive never been so interested in a space program.
I sent a message to firstname.lastname@example.org at May 27th and didn't get a reply yet. Delay is understandable, just want to be sure it wasn't lost
i never received my refund email link. please resend, thanks
@John C: I have reached out to you via email. Let us know if you still need help my sending us a note at email@example.com. Sometimes with gmail accounts, the email is going into the "promotions tab" so you might look there. Thanks! Caitlin
@Anton: I have responded to you via email, let me know if you need anything else. Thanks! Caitlin
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 :)
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
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?
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?
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!
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?
@Jozape: send me an email and I can look into this for you. Thanks! firstname.lastname@example.org
@Marc: a couple people have had the same thing, but we have confirmed our certificate is safe. Maybe try another browser, or network?
Okay. E-mail sent.
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.
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.
Apply the money to R&D, we need that more than I need a refund.
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?
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.
@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! email@example.com -Caitlin
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:
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As long as you submit your request by July 11th, 2016, we will ensure you get your FULL refund.
Director of Marketing
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 :)
Hola Planetary Resources!
I totally missed the refund period... Worry not though, I'm not asking for my money back, I only ask that the funds I provided be put to good use on some other noble project or worthy endeavor (like getting a mid afternoon Starbucks on a cold day)! Best wishes and success on all your future endeavors!
Am pissed and made, and them find out I missed the dead line for refund
I am also pissed and mad.
First they spam Emails like crazy and then they give you 45 days to respond to an important one.
Planetary Resources is very shabby.
Filled the form and followed up on e-mail 3 times. No refund yet. My e-mail is sumansaraf at gmail dot com.
Please donate my funds to the Chicago Police Department or Fire Department.
So.. I just learned about this. Thats pretty shitty. Not failing but the manner in which you handled it. Since I'm not eligible for a refund.. well I don't know.
Ugh, I never knew about the refund until just now, and I never received a refund email. Obviously it's too late for me to claim it. Poor show, Planetary Resources.
YOU F#$@%ing scammers where is my refund! or do i have to come over there and get it in person???????????????????????????????
Chris Lewicki great way to make global enemies and pissed off people!!!! You should be ashamed of yourself for ripping off people, i will make sure i will email our 45k mailing list and inform them of your organisations disgraceful practices and recommend they war everyone they know of your organisations dishonest activities!!
Will never support anything on kickstarter again... The bad taste in my mouth is extreme.
Fluffy: "Ugh, I never knew about the refund until just now, and I never received a refund email. Obviously it's too late for me to claim it. Poor show, Planetary Resources."
Totally agree. This was my first Kickstarter contribution, and will be my last.
Ahhh, was just tidying up my kickstarter account and found a few things that never happened, this being one of them. I'm way past the refund deadline. However, I'm pretty happy that my contribution helped progress the technology and we've moved forward because of it.
All investments of this type are a gamble, and space tech even more so, this shouldn't mean we should stop supporting people who have these ideas, just be aware of the risks.