Space-Mining Company Proposes Rentable Space Telescopes

Space-Mining Company Proposes Rentable Space Telescopes

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Planetary Resources would like to sell you quality time with its space telescope.

A few months ago, space-mining startup company Planetary Resources announced that it had secured enough investment to start scouting near-Earth asteroids for signs of valuable, and potentially mineable, minerals. Now, the company says it's almost ready to launch its Arkyd-100 space telescope - and that if you've got a few dollars spare and feel so inclined, dear reader, you're invited along for the ride.

Peter Diamandis, co-founder of Planetary Resources, outlined the idea on the company's blog. What he wants to do is arrange a Kickstarter fund that would allow regular space fans to rent space telescopes for a short time, for instance, or use them to take pictures. A few of his ideas include:

- $100 for a chance to direct the Arkyd-100 Space Telescope and take a high-resolution photograph of anywhere on Earth that you choose...or, some other celestial body. Current space telescopes charge more than $10,000 for a directed photo of that resolution!

- A half-day at the controls of a satellite, allowing you to take up to approximately 50 photos from space.

- An exclusive invitation to the Planetary Resources Launch Party - with the whole Arkyd Team and potentially some of the Planetary Resources board members.

Diamandis and his company seem very keen to get this idea off the ground, and to find out exactly what it is, if anything, consumers might want from such a project. "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 of our orbiting spacecraft - or - if there's enough demand, actually build you an additional space telescope for your own use," wrote Diamandis. Whoa.

"We know that you have some great ideas, and we want to hear them!" concludes Diamandis, inviting visitors to post their ideas and upvote the ideas of others on Planetary Resources' blog.

Aside from anything else, this move has the potential to demonstrate the less-frightening-than-Weyland-Yutani side of the privatization of space. Sure, they're after profit; but part of that is bringing costs down, something which could well trickle-down to the non-spacefaring among us. If this project works out, consumers could purchase personalized pictures of space without having to remortgage their homes. Call me a too heavy a space-fan, but well, that just sounds like fun.

Source: Planetary Resources

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So theese guys are trying to make the space age happen sooner and theyre renting thier fancy telescope on the cheap while theyre not using it.

Problems? I suppose i have no use for a space telescope. Yet.

I can see this being used for corporate espionage, among other types of espionage too.

This is awesome. If this company is a big success I can see it become the first space monopoly :O

I'm sorry, but the man is named Diamandis and is running a company devoted to space mining. This has GOT to be a supervillain origin story...

Scrustle:
I can see this being used for corporate espionage, among other types of espionage too.

I don't see how this would ever happen. First of all, I don't think space telescopes are used for any images of earth, since that would be a gigantic waste of money. Second of all, it's not like telescopes offer video feed or something and they aren't just "point and shoot" cameras, so you couldn't take a bunch of images in a few seconds.

100 Dollars?! Really now? That's a bargain! I'd be crazy not to pass this up!

Other then that, I'm glad that Private Enterprises are finally starting to go out into the space age. Hopefully, we'll be living on the Moon in no time.

JambalayaBob:

Scrustle:
I can see this being used for corporate espionage, among other types of espionage too.

I don't see how this would ever happen. First of all, I don't think space telescopes are used for any images of earth, since that would be a gigantic waste of money. Second of all, it's not like telescopes offer video feed or something and they aren't just "point and shoot" cameras, so you couldn't take a bunch of images in a few seconds.

Corporate Spy A: So, what have we learned from photographing Microsoft headquarters?

Corporate Spy B: They aren't keeping any of their secret tech on the roof.

OT: Point at a nudist beach in Brazil or Area 51 and hope you get lucky.

Fappy:
This is awesome. If this company is a big success I can see it become the first space monopoly :O

"Go directly to Purgatory, Do not pass the Citadel do not collect 200 Element Zero."

I know a couple of people who would like to use this for legit research purposes. Telescope time is super hard to get, and this seems pretty cheap.

That... is a darn good idea. How do I get them to take my money?

 

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