Decision time? Check out our latest product comparisons

Planetary Resources adds exoplanet hunting stretch goal to Kickstarter campaign

By

June 12, 2013

Planetary Resources is offering to upgrade an Arkyd 100 satellite for exoplanet hunting if...

Planetary Resources is offering to upgrade an Arkyd 100 satellite for exoplanet hunting if its crowdfunding stretch goal is reached

Image Gallery (2 images)

In May, asteroid mining firm Planetary Resources announced its crowdfunding campaign for one of its Arkyd 100 telescope satellites that backers would be allowed to use for a bit of private space exploration. Having reached over US$860,000 of its $1 million goal on Wednesday, Planetary Resources is upping the ante by offering to upgrade the satellite for exoplanet hunting if pledges reach $2 million before the campaign ends on May 30.

Planetary Resources says that it wants to help fill the gap left by the recent failure of NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, which went out of commission in May after a gyro failure. If the $2 million mark is met, Planetary Resources will team with MIT exoplanet researchers and enhance an Arkyd’s stability systems, so it will be suitable for exoplanet work.

Then satellite time will be dedicated to monitoring candidate star systems for transiting exoplanets, which involves recording the dip in a star’s light intensity as a planet passes in front of it, or studying gravity microlensing, which uses the distortion of light caused by the mass of a star and its planets to detect the latter.

Exoplanet search techniques to used by the enhanced Arkyd 100

In addition to the $2 million goal, Planetary Resources announced two more “stretch” goals. If the $1.3 million mark is reached, Planetary Resources will build a second ground station at an educational institute to double downlink speeds from Arkyd. There are also two “mystery” goals to be revealed when the Kickstarter campaign reaches 11,000 and 15,000 backers. The backer count currently stands at just under 9,700.

Source: Planetary Resources

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
Post a Comment

Login with your gizmag account:

Or Login with Facebook:


Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our 29,039 articles