Kickstarter backers contributing $25 or more to the launch of a space telescope will get to have their photos taken in space. Planetary Resources, a company devoted to asteroid research, will thank its donors for their support by displaying their images in space and photographing them with the Earth in the background. Once launched, students and researchers will have access to the telescope so they can take their own pictures of the planet from space.

The partially crowd-funded ARKYD will be made available to students and scientists alike, making it possible for members of the public to control the orbiting telescope to take photographs of the earth and space.

The company's primary concern is building technology to 'prospect and mine asteroids,' and wants to launch a fleet of space telescopes to help identify good candidates for further exploration. In carrying out this mission, Planetary Resources has set into motion plans for an orbiting space telescope funded by and available to members of the public. Thus far, the ARKYD telescope has received the support of more than 10,000 backers on Kickstarter, many of whom will presumably receive a 'digital space selfie' - his or her picture uploaded and displayed on the satellite, then photographed by a camera mounted on an arm, capturing the donor's image in space.

With the ARKYD's initial funding goal of $1,000,000 met, backers can continue to donate and help meet 'stretch goals' like the launch of a second ground station to speed up the delivery of images back to earthlings.

Citing a passion to 'make space exploration accessible to everyone,' Planetary Resources' researchers want to make the  telescope and its camera available to scientists in order to 'provide low-cost resource to help observe distant galaxies, search for alien planets, and monitor the skies for potentially dangerous asteroids.' According to their Kickstarter page, they've also got programs in the works to give school students access to the ARKYD. 

Via PetaPixel