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Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources

Posted by: Terraformer - Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:31 pm
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Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources 
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Post Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:31 pm
Or maybe just half a day. Or just for one photo.

http://www.planetaryresources.com/2012/06/back-us-on-kickstarter/

Thoughts?


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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:00 pm
Wait. Isn't PR backed by several billionaires? What do they need measley kickstarter funds from the masses for? Unless the old capitalist saw, "Only risk other people's money" is in play...


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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:44 pm
Note that they're not asking people to sponsor their goals. They're proposing to add a few more telescopes for others to rent or for the general public to use. So consider this a way to gouge interest. If enough people are willing to put up some money, then it's probably worth it for them to invest in a telescope for hire or to spend a bit more money on promoting science and technology.

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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:03 am
Lourens wrote:
So consider this a way to gouge interest.


Yeah, that's how I characterize it too. :wink:


Quote:
If enough people are willing to put up some money, then it's probably worth it for them to invest in a telescope for hire or to spend a bit more money on promoting science and technology.


No way is microfinance going to raise the multi hundreds of millions of dollars a dedicated SB telescope costs. It'll be a literal drop in the bucket. And they can't have already decided that they will have enough underutilized observation time that they can start trying fill it it. And why bother? Considering the overall astronomical (yes, I know) price tag for the whole venture, they could write this off as a small tax deduction or as "good will"...

Something smells fishy.


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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:01 am
I was under the impression that the Arkyd-100 series was very small (micro- or nano- scale satellite) and intended to be hosted payloads. They are basically medium-quality imaging satellites that you can aim at earth too (as opposed to a big space telescope where it usually can't due to temperature concerns.

In that context, it's pretty reasonable that they want to test the waters of consumer demand in order to decide how big to make their first production batch. One of Peter Diamandis' main goals is reviving popular interest in space, and as such he's using the popularity of the company to try to get people interested and involved at a macro scale.

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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:03 am
Do bear in mind, 10,000 people paying $100 each comes to a million dollars. If the cost of the Arkyd-100 is close enough, it might not cost them much to let people take pictures...


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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:55 am
Terraformer wrote:
Do bear in mind, 10,000 people paying $100 each comes to a million dollars. If the cost of the Arkyd-100 is close enough, it might not cost them much to let people take pictures...


That assumes, of course, that there are 10,000 people who want to pay that . . .

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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:50 pm
JamesG wrote:
Lourens wrote:
So consider this a way to gouge interest.


Yeah, that's how I characterize it too. :wink:

Doh! That's what I get for posting in the middle of the night :-). It's interesting by the way, you sometimes see English speakers mix up ie and ei, which I spot immediately because they're completely different sounds in Dutch ("ie" is pronounced like "e", and "ei" is a compound sound that goes something like eh-e-j, similar to Portuguese I think). Until now I'd never realised that there was a similar situation the other way around: in Dutch ou and au are pronounced exactly the same (pronounced as in "noun", and "Laurens" is actually the more common spelling of my name), while gouge and gauge are pronounced quite differently in English.

Anyway, returning to the topic, this project has quite a few big names attached to it, people who have more reputation to lose than need for financial gain. If they set this up for public access, it won't pay for itself. But you can still charge a bit for use. Kind of like how a museum can get most of its funding from sponsors, but still charge a fee for entry.

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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:07 pm
Well, kickstarter isn't using other people's money - those people are giving the money for their own benefit, not others' benefit. To the people giving the money, if other people benefit from the money, it is irrelevant to them. Otherwise, they wouldn't give the money.

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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:30 pm
Lourens wrote:
Kind of like how a museum can get most of its funding from sponsors, but still charge a fee for entry.


Places like that use entry fees more to reduce demand/users and keep the riff-raff out than as a revenue source.

Were that the case here, why bother with the crowdsourcing gimmik unless its "exercising" that channel. Calling in an "investment" (which has risk of loss) vs. "selling" telescope use? Are any PR principals also stake holders in Kickstarter?


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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:15 pm
I really don't think there's anything suspicious or cynical about offering satellite photos on Kickstarter to gauge interest.

$100 is a VERY good price for a satellite photo. I looked into the cost of custom imaging after a big storm in the city my dad's organization (IITA) is based in Africa. There is basically no emergency infrastructure there, so after a major flood with landslides they ended up doing a lot of recovery work both in their fields and in the wider city. It costs over $1000 for any type of on-demand imaging - even a single photo. I believe the Arkyd intends to provide ~1m resolution images, and if there is a public gateway to ordering them that is relatively on-demand and has good global coverage, a price point of $100 per photo would be hugely practical to a wide variety of stakeholders in various things that currently could benefit from real-time satellite imaging but don't have the resources.

Not to mention people who just want to take a picture of their house...

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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:03 pm
Ok, then when they've got the the bird up there and online, they can post available observation times/locations along with a way to pay for your order. That interface into the sat. control system would be child's play to implement. This is asking you to pay your money up front, years in advance, and in a way with no guarantees or recourse if it never happens.

This smacks more of con than a serious business model. Any project of this magnitude, with the backers it claims to have, has no need (or use) with micro-finance. It does not compute.


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Post Re: Control a space telescope for a day with Planetary Resources   Posted on: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:04 pm
Maybe the people on this board should apologize to Dan Fredrickson - with all of his megalomania and possible mental problems, he suggested this long ago on this board.

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