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June 23, 2012

Planetary Resources Looks at Kickstarter support of additional space telescopes

MSNBC Cosmiclog - Planetary Resources, the billionaire-backed private venture that's aiming to hunt down and mine near-Earth asteroids, is looking for suggestions about projects that could attract extra funding through Kickstarter-style campaigns.

"To offer you a chance to actually get involved, we’ve been tossing around the idea of adding additional capacity in our production run, and either offering you access to a portion of our orbiting spacecraft — or — if there’s enough demand, actually build you an additional Space Telescope for your own use," Diamandis wrote. "We'd probably do this through a Kickstarter campaign, but ONLY if there's enough interest."

Among the ideas that Diamandis is floating:

* $100 for a chance to direct the Arkyd-100 and take a high-resolution photograph of anyplace on Earth, or a celestial body.
* A desktop-scale model of the Arkyd-100.
* A half-day at the controls of a satellite, allowing you to take up to 50 photos from space.
* Invitations to the Planetary Resources launch party.

The suggestion box (which also serves as a ballot box for the suggestions) takes the form of a Facebook-style comment section on Diamandis' Web posting.





Other Kickstarters for Space

ArduSat's organizers are seeking $35,000 in Kickstarter pledges for the development of a sensor-laden nanosatellite that could be run as an orbital time-share.

The DreamUp project, which is offering space on the International Space Station's experimental racks for student-built experiments at rates as low as $15,500

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