Richard Branson adds $100k to Arkyd public space telescope Kickstarter

Live webcast from 6:00 – 9:00 pm ET:

A message from Planetary Resources:

In the final hours, we’re $100K closer to $2M —
Sir Richard Branson supports the ARKYD!

Hi there,

Well here we are, in the final hours of our crowdfunding campaign.  We have a lot in store for you during our LIVE FINALE EVENT, beginning at 3:00 p.m. PDT today (convert to your time) through the close of our Kickstarter campaign at 7:00 p.m. PDT.  But before all of that fun starts, we wanted to share with you some exciting news.

We are pleased to announce that Sir Richard Branson has joined Planetary Resources’ core group of investors.

“I’m excited to be part of the Planetary Resources’ team working on extracting precious minerals from near Earth asteroids.  The only way to truly explore our Solar System is to develop the technology and means to sustain our presence in space without depleting resources of Earth.” — Richard Branson, Chairman of the Virgin Group.

AND . . . he is so excited that the ARKYD will provide unprecedented public access to space, he has generously made his own campaign pledge of $100,000 to support interactive programming to strengthen STEM education, and to move us closer to our remaining three stretch goals.

The remaining stretch goals have been reduced by $100,000 thanks Sir Richard Branson’s substantial pledge to ARKYD – A Space Telescope For Everyone:

$1.4 Million — THE BETA-SELFIE: Double your selfie experience and see yourself in development! Every selfie pledge or higher receives an exclusive digital Beta-Selfie, taken in 2014 during the crucial integration phase of spacecraft build! Become a part of the build and catch a glimpse of our clean-room squad in action!

$1.6 Million — ASTEROID ZOO: We will team with Zooniverse to develop a platform that will allow YOU to find asteroids at home, and help train computers to better find them in the future. Support citizen science that helps astronomers to identify more asteroids today, and the ARKYD to find asteroids when it arrives in orbit.

$1.9 Million — ALIEN PLANETS: We will add exoplanet detection capability to the ARKYD by enhancing the space telescope’s stability systems and dedicating time to monitoring candidate star systems.

We thank you Richard for your support of Planetary Resources and for your contribution to inspire and excite the next generation of explorers!

Let’s keep kickin’ to $2 million!!!  Our campaign closes at 7:00 p.m. PDT today!



Chris Lewicki, President & Chief Engineer
Eric Anderson, Co-Chairman and Co-Founder, and
Peter Diamandis, Co-Chairman and Co-Founder 

Planetary Resources logo

AMSAT and ISS amateur radio news – June.30.13

Go to AMSAT News for the latest headlines about developments in amateur and student satellites and for updates about amateur radio on the ISS.

ANS 181 Weekly AMSAT Bulletin – June 30, 2013:
* ESA Education Office announce six CubeSats chosen for Phase 1 Initiative
* 13 Colonies Special Event Includes Satellite Operations
* 2013 AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium Starts July 19, 2013
* Two Lithuanian Amateur Radio CubeSats Plan 2013 Launch To ISS
* July Space Station Spacewalks To Be Previewed And Broadcast On NASA TV
* Upcoming ARISS Contacts
* Satellite Shorts From All Over

Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit opens at Kennedy Space Center

The  NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit opened on Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center

Here’s a video of the opening ceremony:


A massive 184 foot replica orange fuel tank with twin solid boosters stands over a newly unveiled Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit just miles from where it was launched thirty-three times into orbit. With Cargo bay doors opened and on a forty-three degree slant to allow visitors to peer where only astronauts ans engineers once could, the $100 million dollar exhibition gives on lookers a near 360 viewing experience as never before.

Accompanying Space Shuttle Atlantis is a life-size model of the Hubble Telescope, mock shuttle interiors, an EVA suit and other exhibits that tell the story of NASA’s Atlantis and how it helped shape space history. In attendance was NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and KSC Director Bob Cabana, both previous shuttle astronauts, and other community leaders and guests.

Update: Lots of pictures of the exhibition: STS-135 | Atlantis attraction at KSC Visitor Complex – Spaceflight Now

Amateur radio station on the ISS to include digital TV

The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) organization and d by AMSAT-Italy will place a digital TV system on the Station this year to “provide one-way video and audio from the ISS to complement the FM radio voice link used for ARISS school group radio contacts”:

For more about ARISS, see Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) – NASA

Final day for Planetary Resources Arkyd public space telescope Kickstarter

A message from Chris Lewicki of Planetary Resources :

The Final Day and one EPIC closing finale.

24 hours remain to join the ARKYD cause.

Tune in with us at 3:00 PM PT [Sunday] (convert to your time) to close the campaign with us.

We are going ALL OUT for this event.  What does “ALL OUT” mean?

  • A Tesla Cannon.
  • 3D Printed Rocket Nozzles.
  • Free Add-Ons Every Half Hour.
  • Bill Nye, the Science Guy, in a Bow Tie.
  • Special support for ARKYD from the one and only Sir Richard Branson.

And if you have pledged:
Share with your friends.  Your neighbors.  And your neighbors pets, random strangers, grad students, online stalkers, Klingons, grandparents, mantis shrimp, and Japanese Party Goers.  Because they too deserve to pledge and be part of history.

If you have NOT pledged:
Pledge. This is Your Last Chance to Join the Movement and Open Space for

To paraphrase GeekDad Tim Bailey: Do good for the planet AND wield cosmic power at the same time.

Pledge and be part of this historic journey with us.

Chris Lewicki
Chief Asteroid Miner

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Live webcast at  Planetary Resources ARKYD Kickstarter Finale – YouTube