Brent Spiner, Robert Picardo, Rod Roddenberry Back ARKYD: A Space Telescope for Everyone

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!

Follow me on Twitter: @kaylai.

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Great post Kayla, keep em coming.


Yeah, but what happens if they decide to point this thing at the Earth!!!!

Awesome! However, in the artivle, you spelled Brent’s last name as Spinger. Not being a grammar nazi, I just found it amusing. .

Thanks for posting this Kayla!

A fascinating and worthy prospect for amateur astronomers and others interested in Astronomy in general!

Yay, correct someone’s spelling in the “artivle.”

Can’t be any worse than what you subjected us to with you conspiracy Theory rants to BobOrci on the other thread.

Is that clear enough for ya.

This is the kind of fun/learning/earning/exploration that’s gonna get us to the stars.


Thanks for the great article, Kayla!

Hey, could I use this telescope to peer into Jane Seymour’s bedroom?

why was there a spam linkie to the Columbian Child Abuse Trade (you think the CIA would have learned by now) at the very bottom of the article? Personally though i think ill let the professionals play with their telescopes and write all those neat stuff i read about. This gig seems too much like a money sink P.T. Bartum would approve of… @9, as funny as that comment is, i can already see in my head the headlines laywers would generate because of ‘misuse’ of such a telescope in orbit. Thats why i dont think this will ever happen. Someone eventually will be smart enough to raise the Bullsh*t flag long before lifeoff because of the legal risks such a device in orbit would cause.

Well, it looks like they raised a million and a half. I don’t know, that seems a bit light to build, launch, and maintain a space telescope.

@2. Nothing. Reflected light off the atmosphere makes it useless for spying, for the paranoid among us…

Well, it looks like they raised a million and a half. I don’t know, that seems a bit light to build, launch, and maintain a space telescope.

@2. Nothing. Reflected light off the atmosphere makes it useless for spying, for the paranoid among us…

Good to hear from you Kayla.