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back to article Planetary Resources turns to crowdfunding to help with satellite costs

Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company backed by some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley, is launching a crowdfunded satellite that could be in orbit by 2015. The Arkyd 100 satellite, named in homage to the Star Wars droid manufacturers Arakyd Industries, is a small orbital platform that will form part of the …

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Alien

Coming shortly...

"Captain! In our last fly-by of the planet we picked up this alien probe."

"How very curious, Zarg, it has a display screen on the side showing inhabitants of the planet."

"We think it is some sort of pick-your-own menu, Captain."

"Excellent Zarg. Ready my saucer and bring the big net."

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Bronze badge
Stop

Almost had it

"Virgin Galactic is our current satellite launch provider. Virgin is developing the LauncherOne to deliver small satellites to low-earth orbit in a reliable fashion, with the capability to fly dozens of times per year."

So the price is based on an unknown not yet ready launch system? That changes the equation quite a bit but does go to show that the public is interested in space.

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Silver badge

Is it just me...

... or are they really just going to launch a gold plated SLR?

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Angel

There's good AND bad here...

Ok, getting the public onboard? Nice, cool, wonderful etc. ($260,000+ as I type this)

They need a million dollars to get the first asteroid-spotting telescope away? Fair enough.

People who donate can have their picture (briefly) on the side of the telescope & get a picture with a nice view of Earth in the background? No problem there, either.

But...

Planetary Resources plans to make a profit, eventually. That's a long way down the road but still, there's no mention of any return for those who threw in. Presumably, Planetary Resources shareholders will (eventually) see a return on their investment (dividends).

This is assuming it all works of course but still, is it too much for those who throw a few bucks in at the very beginning to at least get the hope of a little money back?

Overall, I'm glad they're moving forward but... Could Be Better

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Re: There's good AND bad here...

If you're offering a share of future profits, you're essentially selling shares in your company, and there are lots of rules about that (and for good reason.) Therefore, selling shares or other investments on Kickstarter is verboten. You pays your money, you gets your gift. That's it.

No, I don't get it either. But plenty of people do it anyway, so what do I know?

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Go

Who gives a crap if the public is onboard?`

These are entrepreneurs! They don't need no stinking public money or gubbamint! This is no surprise, as I wrote about this in 1973, on astro mining with a system of translinear accelerators - now I'm no genius, so I borrowed on old ideas - but please this is nothing new! What people forget about is most of the cost of a modern enterprise is the shipping! Using buses that travel all the way to the Ort cloud or whatever, is no problem. We even have a new propulsion that can get us there FAST! All we need is surveillance - which this mission will supply. We can save HUGE energy by mining in space!

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Yag
Bronze badge

Re: Who gives a crap if the public is onboard?`

It might have an influence in the overall public space policies...

And we can save huge energy by mining, processing and building in space - mining alone won't be enough.

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Stop

Re: Who gives a crap if the public is onboard?`

Ok, what now? New propulsion that can get us to the Oort cloud (I'm assuming it's in a reasonable amount of time)? Okaaaay...

1: Don't just say that there is, say WHAT it is - give details.

2: Bear in mind that getting to orbit is expensive. Building something that can give itself another 7km/s (or so) of delta-v is difficult AND expensive. Building something that can do that and, after arriving, either chew up a rock for the yummy bits or else haul the entire rock (or a large piece of it) back to Earth orbit (either way, you're changing the delta-v of tonnes or tens of tonnes or even hundreds of tonnes by around 7km/s) is VERY difficult and VERY expensive and VERY risky as it's never been done before. Before you talk about easy, talk about HOW.

3: Remember that ion drives and the like require, if you're moving significant masses, a hell of a lot of electrical power and no, you can't have a nuclear reactor to power it. It's really heavy, it wouldn't give enough juice anyway and the public and the politicians would freak if you tried to launch it.

I don't mean to be too negative. We WILL get there one day but it's going to be a long, hard slog...

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WTF?

10 000$ to private interests with no guaranties... what if they bankrupt or if the project is canceled?

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Mushroom

Anyone who hasn't .noticed

A company, backed by a bunch (i.e. not just one) of billionaires, wants us to fund their launch!

Anyone putting money into this takes gullible to a new level.

If you actually read the small print, there is no guarantee you will get anything for your money.

All they are doing is risk mitigation, you generally don't get to be a billionaire without knowing how to make money.

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