We've seen the Arkyd 100 telescope before, Planetary Resources' impressively small asteroid-hunting machine that offers performance matching any on-earth scope (yes, even the really big ones on the tops of mountains) in a package that's about the size of a quarter keg of beer. Its length of 425mm fully deployed (16.7 inches) is absolutely dwarfed by Earth's current great orbital scope: the Hubble Space Telescope, which is 13.2 meters (or 43 feet) long. The space shuttle cargo bay could carry a single Hubble into orbit. If it were still operating, it could take a thousand Arkyd 100 scopes in a single shot.
But, of course, it isn't still operating, which is perhaps partly why Planetary Resources is looking for $1 million in earthly support. The extra-orbital mining company has turned to Kickstarter to raise a little early funding and to help get its first fully functional Arkyd 100 scope into orbit. If you jump in early, you can get your face in orbit too -- well, a picture of it anyway. More details after the break.
Gallery: Planetary Resources ARKYD
Filed under: Science