Planetary Resources, the company behind the ARKYD Kickstarter that promised you the chance to take a ‘space selfie’ for just $25, announced today that it is cancelling the project and will refund all $1.5 million raised in 2013.
If you don’t remember the project, this ARKYD 100 was to be “a space telescope for everyone.” The plan was to launch a publicly-accessibly space telescope that could, among other things, let users take a “space selfie” by beaming their photo onto a screen attached to the telescope, and taking a picture of that screen with planet Earth as the background.
What came out the other end was supposed to look something like this:
Unfortunately, the dream of ‘space selfies’ will remain just that: a dream. Today, Planetary Resources announced that despite widespread public support and a lot of Kickstarter love, they were not able to generate the interest and find the right partners to make the satellite a reality.
The silver lining (if there is such a thing in these sorts of scenarios) is that Planetary Resource can and will refund all $1.5 million that it raised from the over 17,500 backers who helped the project on Kickstarter in 2013. And despite this setback, Planetary Resources is still planning to launch “a constellation of ARKYD 100 telescopes” into orbit by the end of 2019… you just won’t be able to use any of them to take a selfie.
You can see Planetary Resources CEO Chris Lewicki’s full message to Kickstarter backers at the top of this post.