05/29/2013 01:04 pm ET Updated Jul 29, 2013

Kickstarting the Future of Space Exploration

When the Hubble space telescope was launched, many people said it was a waste of money and resources.

Requiring two space shuttle missions to get it right (first to put into orbit and then a second mission to fix the mirror) and a massive $2.5 billion expense, many proclaimed that it was a giant boondoggle and a drain on the taxpayers.

But over the past 23 years, the Hubble telescope has returned awe-inspiring images and scientific data that have transformed our understanding of the universe. Over 9,000 papers based on Hubble data have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Today, most can agree that the Hubble mission was a resounding success and one of the crowning achievements of science and engineering. The project has inspired students, educators, and researchers from around the world, and given everyone a new perspective on the universe around us.

At Planetary Resources, we wanted a way to put the excitement of space and the thrill of discovery in the hands of as many people as possible -- as many kids as possible.

That's why we're launching a new mission of exploration, and putting you at the controls of the world's first space telescope that will be operated by supporters, students, researchers, and educators.

As we just announced on Kickstarter, the ARKYD space telescope will give students access to cutting edge space technology, support important research and discovery, and continue to build excitement about space and all of its potential.

We want to make space accessible to people from all walks of life, all ages, across the globe, and let them get involved in the process from every stage.

Unlike most space missions, the ARKYD telescope will give you the opportunity to help decide which science centers, museums and schools are the beneficiaries of ARKYD telescope time, what photos to take, and more. We're putting YOU in control.

By pledging toward this mission (via Kickstarter), you'll receive access to our website and mobile apps allowing you to follow along with the progress of the satellite, sneak peaks at photos and videos, and get voting access to make your voice heard in the future direction of the satellite! You can also send up your favorite picture, and get that image captured as a #SpaceSelfie with the Earth in the background, use the main optic to take a picture of distant galaxies or donate telescope time to education.

We want to show people from around the world that space is accessible and inspire a new generation about space and all of its potential.

Join us! Pledge now and help us invent the future!

Best wishes,