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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Asteroid miners unveil first crowdfunded space scope

 For a few hundred dollars, you can take control of the Arkyd 100, the first crowdfunded space telescope, to be built by private would-be asteroid-mining firm Planetary Resources.

Today the company, based in Bellevue, Washington, announced a Kickstarter campaign that aims to raise $1 million to launch the orbiting observatory. If they are successful, the telescope could fly by early 2015.

Backers who give $200 or more will get 30 minutes of observing time and will be able to choose their target. The resulting digital picture will be theirs to keep and analyse for possible scientific value.

Space selfie

Lower-budget options will allow backers to donate observing time to students or scientists. Or they may elect to take a "space selfie". This would involve sending a digital photo into orbit and having it displayed on a screen on the telescope's back while an externally mounted camera photographs the screen, with the telescope and the Earth below, all in one frame.

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