Planetary Resources, the billionaire-backed private venture that's aiming to hunt down and mine near-Earth asteroids, is looking for suggestions about projects that could attract extra funding through Kickstarter-style campaigns.
In a Web posting, co-founder Peter Diamandis says that in the month and a half since the asteroid-mining project was unveiled, he and his colleagues "have been overwhelmed at the response from people begging to know how they can get involved." In an associated email blast, Diamandis and the company's other co-founder, Eric Anderson, say they've gotten hundreds of emails asking about the project.
Advertise | AdChoicesThe company — which counts Google billionaires Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, space billionaire Charles Simonyi and Texas billionaire Ross Perot Jr. among its investors — has said it plans to launch its first asteroid-hunting space telescope, the Arkyd-100, within two years. But what Diamandis and Anderson really want to do is launch 10 to 15 of the 44-pound (20-kilogram) telescopes in the next three years.
"To offer you a chance to actually get involved, we’ve been tossing around the idea of adding additional capacity in our production run, and either offering you access to a portion of our orbiting spacecraft — or — if there’s enough demand, actually build you an additional Space Telescope for your own use," Diamandis wrote. "We'd probably do this through a Kickstarter campaign, but ONLY if there's enough interest."