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Crowdfunded space telescope opens


Whilst it could be argued that crowdfunding a new skyscraper in Colombia is pretty cool, I think it’s fair to say that by far the coolest crowdfunded project was announced this week.

It emerged this week that private mining company Planetary Resources want to built the world’s first publicly accessible space telescope.  The device, known as Arkyd, will be funded using the crowdsourcing methods that we’ve all grown to love via Kickstarter et al.

Due to the open nature of the projects funding, its hoped that Arkyd will be open to the public to use for research and general star gazing.

Co-founder of Planetary Resources Eric Anderson was understandably bullish about the project.

“We are putting a webcam on the shoulder of Christopher Columbus as he explored the new world,” he said. “You are literally going to have the chance to see and feel and listen to what it’s like to explore the solar system.”

Their Kickstarter page is aiming to raise $1 million, with over $250,000 of that raised already.  The device will be launched into orbit by Virgin Galactic.

“Our goal is to democratize the access to space,” said co-founder Peter Diamandis. “This stuff has been, for decades, militarized and very expensive.”

At the time of writing, the project has another 31 days to raise the remaining cash required.

Whilst much of the project has altruistic aims, Planetary Resources also hope to use the data acquired through the use of the telescope in hunting down asteroids that they could potentially mine at a later date.

Check out their launch video below, and you can invest here.


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