Asteroid mining company wants to put your face in space
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (REUTERS) - A privately owned asteroid mining firm, backed in part by Google Inc's founders, launched a crowd-funding project on Wednesday to gauge public interest in a small space telescope that could serve as a backdrop for personal photographs, officials said.
Planetary Resources, based in Bellevue, Washington, plans to build and operate telescopes to hunt for asteroids orbiting near Earth and robotic spacecraft to mine them for precious metals, water and other materials.
It also plans an educational and outreach programme to let students, museums, armchair astronomers and virtual travellers share use of a telescope through an initiative on Kickstarter, a website used to raise funds for creative projects.
Planetary Resources aims to raise US$1 million (S$1.26 million) by June 30 to assess public appetite for participating in a space project. It expects to launch its first telescope in 2015.