Trek celebs are lining up to support a Kickstarter-funded project called ARKYD, a space telescope designed to be funded and used by the public, whose fully funded campaign ends in less than 60 hours. The first ever publicly available space telescope is luring donations with the enticing reward of a “space selfie”. That’s right, if you send them a picture of yourself (or your boyfriend, or your dog, or your favorite breakfast cereal…) they will display it on an onboard LED screen and snap a pic of your photo floating above the glorious blue orb we call Earth. What’s more, you can donate more and use the space ‘scope to point in any direction of your choosing or donate your observation time to science and follow along with the scientists’ findings. Brent Spiner, Robert Picardo, and Rod Roddenberry are among the many, many backers of the project, which at the time of writing has already raised over $1.2 Million. Check out the videos of Trek celebs supporting ARKYD after the jump.
What exactly is ARKYD and why should I care?
In short, ARKYD is the first publicly accessible space telescope. You pay for its development and launch (via their Kickstarter campaign), and YOU get to use the telescope to do science or just take pretty pictures of space (or yourself!). The idea of actually being able to USE something orbiting the Earth that you’ve paid for is a world first (unless you’re an astronaut). And the option to donate your paid for observation time to scientists who already have exciting research goals in mind is a fantastic way to engage in real science and make a difference in the world of astronomical research — something unprecedented in science until now. But, the truly unique (albeit potentially vain!) kickstarter reward that the ARKYD team is offering is the opportunity to get a picture of yourself taken in space with Earth as the backdrop. Talk about a cool facebook profile picture.
Watch the Kickstarter video
Or, watch the Kickstarter video in Klingon!
From the ARKYD Kickstarter page:
Introducing: The ARKYD — [ahrk-kid]
The ARKYD is a technologically advanced, orbiting space telescope that will be controlled by YOU, the crowd, through your pledges and community involvement! You can even direct your telescope time to non-profit science centers and universities for use in your communities!
Just think about the true impact of this endeavor for a moment. Together we can provide access to technology that costs tens of millions of dollars into the hands of students, scientists and a new generation of explorers, who will use it in ways we can’t even fathom yet!
At Planetary Resources, our primary focus is mining asteroids, and we’re pushing the boundaries of what is possible by vertically integrating and applying innovations from consumer-based industries. It’s our goal to reduce the cost of space observatories many times over, allowing anyone to access them for their own use. We want to empower the crowd to solve the big problems of our time — and this is the first step to making that a reality.
An example of the ARKYD space selfie
Trek Celebs Line Up To Back ARKYD
Rod Roddenberry says ARKYD is harmonious with his father’s vision of the future
Bob Picardo will use his observation time to hunt down the Borg
Brent Spiner joins the ARKYD team for a community event
The Kickstarter ends June 30th, so make sure to get your donation in now to reap the awesome benefits!
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