by Planetary Resources
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
@Krom: Send us an email at Kickstarter@PlanetaryResources.com and we will make sure you get your refund. Thanks! Caitlin
@Jeremy Bridges: Email us at Kickstarter@PlanetaryResources.com and I can help you out. Thanks! Caitlin
How can I request the refund email be resent? I never received mine and want to respond before the deadline.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Honorable. Good luck with the future.
From my understanding, a space telescope cost a lot more than 1.5M and investors will only participate if they think that the general public or corporate enterprises will pay enough money for the use of a space telescope to justify its cost. That's a stretch to begin with. Never the less it's fun to try!
It's nice that Planetary Resources got funding for an earth observation satellite. The timing makes sense, as a round of funding closes, the company have the final word on what investors want to pay for and what they don't want to invest in. Therefore the final word on the Arkyd is decided on the same day.
I understand that some are upset that the company received funding yet our project was scrapped. Hopefully most will recognize that crowd funding does carry risks of their own. As for whether the company leveraged our crowd funding with or without the Arkrd project in mind, I'll leave that to the conspiracy theorists. :)
Personally I'm for all private space exploration projects and companies. I hope that our contribution will help them flourish one way or another, so that you don't have to be a Paypal founder to be able to kick off an ambitious project. ;)
Thank you for the refund--I'm going to reinvest it in KIVA.
My understanding was always that the cool $1.5M was merely to integrate a selfie arm and screen onto the satellite, which was being funded largely by the company for other purposes. Don't see why that possibility has been excluded before the satellite is even finished. Probable answer is that they did not have enough surface area on the satellite for the screen, or the arm/screen proved difficult to engineer, or both. Says more about their poor ability to innovate than their being jerks for giving up.
Agree wit a lot of the other commenters that they basically borrowed our money for free. Shows how badly most backers have done out of Kickstarter that they're amazingly grateful to get their money back from a multi million corporation who didn't bother to deliver on thir promise.
If this happened to a shareholder in business it would probably mean a lawsuit and people on the board losing their jobs. On Kickstarter it's supposedly a win.
I doubt I'll be backing anything again on here.
My students will be disappointed. Some of them were really looking forward to that telescope time. But c'est la vie. No hard feelings with full refunds all around. I wish you the greatest success moving forward.
A shame, but if there's no commercial support for the projects projected lifespan, then there's no way forward for the product. 100% refunds are a stellar move though. And it's nice to see the business has been able to get so much viable commercial investment by retargeting their focus on earth observation.
Disappointed that we won't get our space selfies. Appreciate the refund. I will continue to support the Planetary Society.
Heartbreaking news team. No ill feelings, just best wishes for the future. Thank you for inspiring us all to dream about space again.
i wish planetary resources luck in but an unfortunate end to the project so far you are the only kickstarter that even partially came through with their pledge or even to offer a refund which is quite admirable. but now that this project is over i think i shall delete my account. p.s kickstarter sucks, but not as much as their support.
Agree with a lot of people here. They took an interest free loan from kickstarter community, developed a proof of concept Arkyd telescope, used it to secure funding from VCs and refunded the money back to the kickstarter community. I suggest that Planetary Resources and their founders be banned from ever starting a kickstarter project.
I really don't understand. You have received $21 Mil so--you took our money and got a loan/startup capital with that? So what's with not doing the project if you have all that money ? Seems a cheap shot.There's no company accounting for what was done with the money, and the links for refund don't work.
It's disappointing that this didn't go anywhere. Business is business and I understand canceling a project when further funds for that project never materialized. I choose to give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the major funding you DID receive, and I'll believe that because it was for another project legally you couldn't use it to further this idea. Issuing the offer of full refunds was a good thing to do. Good luck.
I'd figured that this project might not pan out. Genuine sad, it was a cool idea.
Multiple simultaneous feels: it's been a really long time since we heard from you. Refunding our pledges is a classy move. Doing it the same day you announce major funding is a crappy move. And, finally, WAH! No space selfie!
if you are sad that his project is cancelled, take your money and buy a copy of Stephenson's "Seveneves". Chris Lewicky even helped on that. Which might give you an idea where the book is going.
Cheers and thanks for the cash! (fish?)
I BELIEVE! Thank you for refunding backers knowing that you were under no obligation to do so. I look forward to reinvesting this in any future projects you are running.
Sorry to hear that :( Good luck you guys!
Thanks for finally clarifying the situation and offering the refunds, but the lack of communication since August last year was terribly unprofessional.
So sad. Once again education loses to exploitive capitalism. So unethical, using backer money for an education project to build proof of concept technology to sell to commercial investors, then cancel the education project.
I will not be taking the refund, I am glad and honored to let you keep progressing forward.
So, ARKYD took 1.5 million dollars. Built their business with those funds (as a loan, with no interest offered or equity shares) and then offers refunds the same day they raise 21.1 million dollars for money they had for 3 years?
When you click on link it says The owner of kickstarter.planetaryresources.com has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website.
I will not be accepting the refund. I have dreamed of the stars with you, and that is money well spent. I invested in your team, not in the trinkets and rewards, and I would happily do so again. Thank you so much for the work you all did. I hope that the progress you have made and the knowledge that you have gained helps both you and others to reach further. You achieve most, not in what you accomplish yourself, but in the steps upward that you have laid in front of those who follow you. I wish you the best. Again, thanks. Robert Beauford, Ph.D., Space and Planetary Science
I got my refund email exactly 10 minutes after i received an email about the $21mil funding for the Arkyd technology http://www.planetaryresources.com/2016/05/planetary-resources-raises-21-1-million-in-series-a-funding-unveils-advanced-earth-observation-capability/
Im inclined to agree with those posting that the KS was essentially a capital loan, for the funding to test the arkyd platform. I am however pleased to see you are offering full refunds, but still disappointed, as i was looking forward to printing and mounting the resulting image on canvas, and have had a spot for years waiting for it.
Kickstarters are never a guaranteed thing. I supported your idea and enthusiasm - and still do. I'm gutted for you that the project didn't work out, but I love you for trying. I definitely refuse to cash in my refund. Best of luck for the future. <3
I am with Jenn and Chuck. Won't cash in as well.
It was/is a pleasure to be part of this ambitious adventure.
So "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars! " :-)
Good luck to all of you !
I won't be cashing in my refund. I didn't give much to the project, but gave what I did to help you push towards this lofty goal. You've done that for sure, and I have confidence that you spent some of our money already on making huge steps forward. Good luck as you look to more space projects in the future.
Please keep my KickStarter contribution to hasten the day of widespread beneficial outcomes of asteroid mining, and to improve the likelihood that each of the technologies required to get there succeed as viable businesses, too. I was really looking forward to gifting nine of the ten selfies, but I understand that this project depended also on external support that did not materialize as expected. Kudos to everyone on the ARKYD Team who worked so long on this; it has to be tough to face. Experienced KickStarter backers know that many projects are risky, will be delayed, change focus, or fail, so let it be said that your conduct in the face of externalities sets a worthy example for other projects. Yes, I am disappointed, but still hopeful for an opportunity to achieve the same ends another way, another day.
A little disappointed, but I understand. When you're running a startup, it's a matter of survival. However, I expected at least some test photos from the ARKYD. Did the satellite even work?
You did the correct thing.
I will support your futur project without issue.
Your response and the decision you took should be supported and publicizes by KickStarter as the gold standard.
To the people thanking Planetary Resources for refunding their money I'd like to remind them that the times you didn't get your money back when a kickstarter was cancelled was when the company failed. Planetary Resources is doing quite well and now that they don't need our money are "rewarding" us by not delivering on what they promised and effectively saying "thanks for the loan of the free money, we've got better funding now so please go away"
Of COURSE they're refunding the money. Stop pretending this is some guy in his basement who found out his idea wouldn't work. This is a multi-million dollar corporation.
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unfortunate, but thanks for letting us be involved. i look forward to whatever Planetary Resources is up to in the future. cheers!