July 23, 2012

Asteroids…Alien planets…or your house?

Last month you told us you’re excited about a Kickstarter project to build a high-powered ARKYD-100 space telescope for your personal use. (Planetary Resources is building its own constellation of Arkyd-100’s to use for finding Near Earth Asteroids, of course… This would be an additional spacecraft produced just for your use).

Based on your initial feedback, we’ve spent the past couple weeks brainstorming how we can augment our plans to offer a capability to you, educators, students and scientists.

You gave us a bunch of GREAT ideas in the comments of that original blog post, and it’s been a challenging process coming up with concise pledge levels. We trimmed the list down to the 12 ideas listed below.

REQUEST: We’d like to get your input on them by clicking LIKE next to the level that you would ACTUALLY want to contribute to.

1. Founding Member ($10): All pledge levels will get access to our new membership site! You get special, behind-the-scenes access to view photos, access current info and updates about the missions and more. You’ll also be listed as a founding member on the official public ARKYD-100 supporters roll. We’ll also enter you (all supporters!) into a drawing to win a free spot to the EXCLUSIVE launch party.
2. Founding Miner ($40): Every week you’ll get the chance to vote on where to point the telescope for a “Photo of the week”. Plus you’ll get an “I’m An Asteroid Miner T-Shirt” to show off your miner’s pride! You know you want one! Plus you get the Founding Member benefits.
3. Founding Explorer ($100): Take one picture of whatever you want with the ARKYD-100 space telescope. Want a picture of something on Earth? One of the planets? You’ll point the telescope and the hi-res photo is emailed ONLY to you. Also, as a Founding Explorer, you’ll also get everything in the above levels.
4. Inspire A Kid ($100): We need to inspire our next generation of Scientists & Engineers. With this pledge your timeshare of the ARKYD-100 Space Telescope will be donated towards a “Space Education 101 package” (details below) allowing High School students to learn about space while directing a space telescope! For every 50 of these pledges, we’ll supply one High School with our “Space Education 101″ package. You’ll also have the chance to vote and decide what schools we give these packages to!
5. Alien Hunter – Research Assistant ($100): By far our favorite suggestion! With this pledge, your timeshare of the ARKYD-100 Space Telescope will be added to a pool and provided to researchers at a top university who will use it to search for Extra-solar planets (planets around distant stars). You’ll get regular updates from the researchers and be part of these great discoveries!
6. Asteroid Finder – Research Assistant ($100): Also a favorite suggestion! With this pledge, your timeshare of the ARKYD-100 Space Telescope will be added to a pool and provided to researchers who will use it for a variety of critical asteroid observation activities, uniquely suited to the ARKYD-100. You’ll get regular updates from the researches and be a part of this citizen-funded science!
7. Founding Photographer ($500): Love time-lapse photography? You will receive a 5 photo sequence of a particular area of your choosing, over the course of 1 year. You’ll also get access to the Founding Explorer membership level!
8. ARKYD-100 Desktop Model ($1,500): You’ll receive a detailed 1/3rd scale desktop model of the Arkyd-100 Space Telescope (which is very cool!). We’ll also send a 20″ x 30″ detailed poster showing the Arkyd-100 Space Telescope. You’ll also get instant access to the Founding Explorer level!
9. Immortalized In Space! ($5,000): We will engrave your name right on the Arkyd! Real-estate on a satellite is hard to come by, so lock this one it quick! You’ll also get a spare piece of space hardware from the ARKYD-100 and receive the rewards from the Founding Explorer levels.
10. Space Education 101 ($5,000): This pledge is for your choice of a high school, museum or institution: It includes 50 photos (per year) of your choice (Earth or space), a 20″ x 30″ detailed poster showing the Arkyd-100 Space Telescope and access to 8 educational videos taught by our Chief Engineer Chris Lewicki. The video and poster are intended to be teaching instruments for the instructor and students respectively.
11. Space Education 201 ($10,000): This pledge is for your choice of a high school, museum or institution: It includes 100 photos (per year) of your choice (Earth or space), plus a detailed 1/3rd scale model and a 20″ x 30″ detailed poster showing the Arkyd-100 Space Telescope, and access to 8 educational videos taught by our Chief Engineer Chris Lewicki. The model, video and poster are intended to be teaching instruments for the instructor and students respectively.
12. The “Just-Make-It-So” Supporter ($10,000): Want to just see this thing happen? Then this is your pledge. You will receive 2 tickets to the Arkyd-100 Launch Party Event and Founding Explorer level. Event is limited to PRI staff, board members, investors and exclusive attendees. You’ll also get your name engraved on the ARKYD-100.

And please share this post with your friends, family and colleagues you think would be interested in sharing their view and possibly participating. We’re hoping to get the widest input on this next step in our investigation.

Implementing this Arkyd-100 Kickstarter campaign for us is about re-inventing ACCESS to space, crowdfunding science and making space technology an educational tool… i.e. inspiring, enlightening and engaging for future generations.

A question that came up before was, “What happens after all the pledges are fulfilled? Who gets to use the telescope then?”

The telescope has a limited lifetime of about 3 years. The campaign funds would fund the creation and use of the telescope for 3 years. Once the pledge levels have been fulfilled, the remainder of the time can be donated to schools, science centers, museums and research!

– Peter & Eric

PS. Please share this post. Be it on your Facebook wall, with your Twitter followers or emailed to the friends that would be interested in helping make the first public use space telescope a reality.

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