The Era of Open-Source Space Exploration Has Begun
Thanks to everyone’s efforts – both online and offline, through blog campaigning and social network sharing, and by solidarity from other organizations – the necessary $1M funding for the ARKYD-100 Space Telescope Kickstarter campaign has been achieved.
This is definitely a very momentous occasion, because it marks the beginning of open-source space exploration. The global community had spoken and they said, “We want to explore the cosmos!” No doubt, many would also subsequently be shouting, “We want to take Space Selfies!” So by 2015, the ARKYD-100 will launch into orbit and the world will witness space like never before.
But, despite our victory in achieving complete funding, we still have 10 days left in the Kickstarter campaign, and with that comes a new stretch-goal – $2M! If we can achieve this new stretch goal with 10 days left, then the rewards are nearly unfathomable in long-term implications. In short-terms, it will allow Planetary Resources – the asteroid mining company – to “enhance ARKYD’s stability systems and dedicate time to monitoring candidate star systems for transiting exoplanets.”
Essentially, we’d be taking over where the Kepler telescope left off when it officially died (R.I.P. Kepler!) – the exploration and search for extrasolar planets. Planetary Resources will partner with exoplanet researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help equip everyone wishing to contribute in their search – the joining of hands between scientific researchers and citizen scientists!
If we cannot reach $2M, don’t fret. Another stretch-goal has been called for as well – $1.3M, which if achieved will “build a second ground station at the site of an educational partner. This station will provide a 2x downlink boost, doubling download speeds from space.” But I implore everyone to not only reach this goal, but to soar passed it and achieve the larger stretch-goal, if not higher.
So what are we waiting for!? Let’s reach that stretch-goal of $2m!