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Planetary Resources hits $1 million Kickstarter goal to build space telescope 'for everyone'

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Arkyd Space Selfie
Arkyd Space Selfie

Planetary Resources, the billionaire-backed asteroid mining company, has raised more than $1 million on Kickstarter to build a proposed space telescope that will be accessible by members of the public. The campaign has more than 12,000 backers and 10 days to raise even more money for the Arkyd, an exploratory telescope that is part of the fleet that will help Planetary Resources hunt for near-Earth asteroids. Extra funds will mean more capabilities that backers can take advantage of, including the ability to scan for exoplanets. Not that the deep-pocketed Planetary Resources needs any of this Kickstarter cash: the crowdfunded Arkyd is purely for publicity and "getting people excited about space." The Arkyd isn't launching until sometime after 2015. But once it does, expect to see a barrage of "space selfies" — photos taken by Arkyd's camera showing your picture on its screen with the Earth in the background — all over Instagram.