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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

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    1. Planetary Resources Creator on May 27, 2016

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

    2. Planetary Resources Creator on May 27, 2016

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

    3. Jeremy Bridges on May 27, 2016

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

    4. Mike Maddox on May 27, 2016

      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.

    5. Missing avatar

      Krom on May 27, 2016

      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?

    6. Palindrome Bob-XSF-I'm in AGL589-BG5.22
      Superbacker
      on May 27, 2016

      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.

    7. alcaray on May 27, 2016

      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.

    8. Missing avatar

      Giampaolo Frello on May 27, 2016

      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.

    9. WishItWas1984 on May 26, 2016

      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.

    10. Jason Montgomery on May 26, 2016

      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.

    11. Thomas E. Dalsin on May 26, 2016

      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!

    12. Missing avatar

      David Yeates on May 26, 2016

      Honorable. Good luck with the future.

    13. Missing avatar

      Derek Liu on May 26, 2016

      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. ;)

    14. Missing avatar

      Dawn Walker on May 26, 2016

      Thank you for the refund--I'm going to reinvest it in KIVA.

    15. Lucas Policastro on May 26, 2016

      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.

    16. Missing avatar

      weltysparrow on May 26, 2016

      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.

    17. TPRJones on May 26, 2016

      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.

    18. Missing avatar

      euan forrest on May 26, 2016

      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.

    19. slycreations on May 26, 2016

      Disappointed that we won't get our space selfies. Appreciate the refund. I will continue to support the Planetary Society.

    20. Evan Walters on May 26, 2016

      Heartbreaking news team. No ill feelings, just best wishes for the future. Thank you for inspiring us all to dream about space again.

    21. Nathan Liknes on May 26, 2016

      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.

    22. Missing avatar

      Vik Desai on May 26, 2016

      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.

    23. Missing avatar

      Cecilia Etheridge on May 26, 2016

      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.

    24. Bess Katerinsky on May 26, 2016

      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.

    25. Missing avatar

      Nick Deakin on May 26, 2016

      I'd figured that this project might not pan out. Genuine sad, it was a cool idea.

    26. Jeff Truelsen on May 26, 2016

      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!

    27. Chris on May 26, 2016

      Dear humanity,
      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?)
      Chris :)

    28. Missing avatar

      Matthew Cimone on May 26, 2016

      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.

    29. Missing avatar

      Kamil Borzym on May 26, 2016

      Sorry to hear that :( Good luck you guys!

    30. Don Reba on May 26, 2016

      Thanks for finally clarifying the situation and offering the refunds, but the lack of communication since August last year was terribly unprofessional.

    31. dajebriza
      Superbacker
      on May 26, 2016

      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.

    32. McKay Voiles on May 26, 2016

      I will not be taking the refund, I am glad and honored to let you keep progressing forward.

    33. Missing avatar

      Iberico on May 26, 2016

      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?

      Seem legit.

    34. Missing avatar

      Octavio De La Rosa on May 26, 2016

      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.

    35. Missing avatar

      Robert Beauford on May 26, 2016

      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

    36. Missing avatar

      Gary Carmichael on May 26, 2016

      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.

    37. Dana Kubilus on May 26, 2016

      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

    38. Missing avatar

      Wolfgang Templ on May 26, 2016

      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 !

    39. Jenn Truman on May 26, 2016

      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.

    40. Chuck Pell on May 26, 2016

      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.

    41. Cross Product Creations on May 26, 2016

      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?

    42. Thomas-Louis Laforest on May 26, 2016

      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.

    43. Mike Galos on May 26, 2016

      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.

    44. Planetary Resources Creator on May 26, 2016

      Hi There,

      We have resolved the "Array" or "Blank Page" issue for those of you who have reported this to us.

      To retrieve your refund, click your link from your email, and go through the process again.

      We apologize for the issue, and please let us know if you have any continuing problems. You may need to refresh your browser or clear your cache to ensure it works properly.

      Best,
      The Planetary Resources Support Crew

    45. drow on May 26, 2016

      unfortunate, but thanks for letting us be involved. i look forward to whatever Planetary Resources is up to in the future. cheers!

    46. Thomas Paine on May 26, 2016

      Wow, I can't believe you all are offering a refund. I've backed a lot of projects with mixed results but I've never received nor expected a refund. Please ignore the children throwing fits because they didn't get their ice cream. We all pitched in money hoping it would work out but there is always a high degree of risk involved. If people can't embrace that they should stop crowd funding projects, their toxicity is ruining it for the rest of us.

    47. Braedon de Grasse
      Superbacker
      on May 26, 2016

      Oh wow. This is the first time I've had a Kickstarter go wrong that's just straight up giving a refund. No fighting with project creators, or waiting months for nothing to come. MAJOR props to all of you guys for being so honest and easy to deal with this.

      It's a shame things have to go this way, but good luck to all of you in your future endeavours!

    48. Missing avatar

      Lars Banning on May 26, 2016

      Seems like Google failed me, "PRRY" is not the Planetary Resources stock, so the 0,03 USD/share figure quoted below is not correct. In fact I can't find any information about stock prices, is Planetary Resources even publicly traded? It doesn't seem so.

    49. Girard Quicho
      Superbacker
      on May 26, 2016

      I am also getting an empty page with "array" after submitting the refund information.

    50. Martin Uzunov on May 26, 2016

      Oh, so you will not honor refunds after 45 days, which basically means you will STEAL a fraction of the pledges. Now you are making me create a PayPal account just for this...only in crowdfunding can you get away with something like this...