ARKYD – the first crowd-funded orbiting space telescope: project by Greek-American Peter Diamandis

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Have you ever considered that you definitely need to send your pictures to …space? A snapshot of your beloved husband, your kids, your mom, your pet or the latest delicious Thai chicken you made from scratch? Even a short video upload about the Greek success story? All this could be possible with ARKYD the first crowd-funded space telescope ever! Greek-American entrepreneur Peter Diamandis may make it happen.

The project “ARKYD — [ahrk-kid]” is launched by Planetary Resources in Seattle, WA and has a cost of at least 1 million USD.

Orbiting space telescope as kickstarter?

Introducing the ARKYD project in kickstarter.com, the initiators write:

“Space has always been something that most people only dream about. Very few ever get the chance to experience space — to feel that overwhelming sense of awe described by astronauts. Our challenge and vision is this: how can we make
that a reality?

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!”

Among the several goals of the project are “to give students access to space capabilities ,to support important research and discovery ,to build excitement about space and all of its potential”.  What I find most thrilling is this: to give people a say!

To give YOU a say — What makes this mission unique is that we’re putting control of the telescope in YOUR hands. You’ll get the opportunity to help decide which science centers and museums are the beneficiaries of ARKYD telescope time, what photos to take, and more. We’re putting YOU in control! By pledging toward this mission, you’ll receive access to our website and mobile apps allowing you to follow along with the progress of the satellite, sneak peaks at photos and videos, and get voting access to make your voice heard in the future direction of the satellite.

“Space Selfie”: what’s is this?

Have you ever hear of a Space Selfie? Of course, not. You’re stuck in Greece and deal with the economic crisis for the last 3-4 years. You deal with taxes, the mountain of unpaid bills and the new taxes to come instead of dealing with the pleasant and new things in human life.

Take a Photo of Yourself in Space!

At its core, the ARKYD is a space telescope. The large, main optic is designed to take high-resolution photos of objects in space. What truly sets it apart is that we’ve engineered the spacecraft with an external screen and a camera arm, allowing us to take pictures of the ARKYD as it orbits Earth.

Your photo (or graphic!) will be displayed on the satellite’s external screen overlooking Earth. We will then take a picture from our camera arm and send the image back to you. This is what we are calling a “Space Selfie”. Be the first of your friends to claim bragging rights on Facebook. Send a picture of your family to use on your next holiday card and be as creative as you want! All of the Space Selfies can be displayed on our community page online (if you want).

Seeing a picture of yourself or your loved ones above our planet can change our awareness of this fragile shell nourishing all life on Earth. There are no borders visible from space, and the “Space Selfie” can provide a small taste of the “Overview Effect” (The psychological phenomenon experienced by astronauts who spend time above the Earth and feel the imperative to protect our planet).

The ARKYD crowd-funded site is full of details about the amazing things that can be done with the crowd-funded orbiting space telescope. You can read all about it here and even make your pledge -until June 30th 2013. More than nine thousand support backers cannot be wrong…

More information about Peter Diamandis here.

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PS I would like to ask Peter Diamandis whether he was also impressed by Rock Hudson telling Doris Day of his uncle, who was a “human satellite” :). I think the film was “Lover come back”.