ARKYD Space Telescope Closes Crowdfunding, Zooms Past Original Goal, Hits $1.5 Million Stretch

posted Jul 1, 2013, 1:19 PM by   [ updated Jul 1, 2013, 1:22 PM ]

ARKYD Space Telescope Location

Now in the Top 25 Kickstarter Campaigns Ever.

The ARKYD Space Telescope whichcrowdfunded an amazing $325,000 on their first day, has closed their crowdfundingcampaign on Kickstarter with well over their initial $1,000,000 target.  The project called “the first space telescope for everyone” had set a series of stretch goals but fell short on the final target of $2,000,000 but did surpass their mid stretch of $1.5 Million by raising $1,505,366 which allowed them to fund the “Asteroid Zoo.  The campaign tally included 17,614 backers.

The campaign closed with a live broadcast – or Spacevidcast – hosted on YouTube. (6 PM PST, July 30th).  The organizers called this the most successful space kickstarter campaign ever as over 800 supporters watched the stream live.  Sir Richard Branson contributed $100,000 to the campaign to help reach their stretch goal.

Supporters contributed to a very well structured crowdfunding campaign which included diverse reward levels and consistent backer communications.  Their campaign video was translated into 13 languages (14 if counting the one in Klingon).  Their top reward level of $10,000 was purchases by 25 individuals which generated significant lift for the overall success of the campaign.

ARKYD June 30thPlanetary Resources the campaign organizers was founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson and Dr. Peter Diamandis.  The company wants to conduct low cost space exploration to identify commercial opportunities from near earth asteroids.  Their initial missions are to enable retrieval of raw materials from these identified asteroids – such as water, precious metals and more.

The crowdfunding campaign for the ARKYD was a unique twist in combining a fascinating approach for students and others interested in Space with a commercial venture.  The partnered approach help to fund the telescope for their prime objective of commercial space exploration.

“Planetary Resources values the power of the connected mind; when workingHappy Ending at ARKYD Crowdfunding Campaigntogether, we can accomplish much more than any of us can do alone,” said Chris Lewicki, President and Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources, Inc. “We’re creating this program to harness the public’s interest in space and asteroid detection, while providing a very real benefit to our planet.”

The company has the backing of some big names in industry including Google’s Larry Page & Eric Schmidt and Ross Perot, Jr.  Advisors included film maker and explorer James Cameron.

The target launch date for the Telescope is August of 2015.