Planetary Resources breaks the million-dollar mark in its crowdfunding campaign

Shortly before 9:30 pm EDT Wednesday evening, Planetary Resources ongoing Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign passed the $1-million mark, its original goal. That was a major milestone for the effort, since Kickstarter efforts are done on an all-or-nothing basis: campaigns only get the money pledged if the total meets or exceeds the stated goal. If they had received $999,000 in pledges, they would have received nothing; now, they’ll get however much they end up raising by the time the campaign ends on June 30.

When I looked at the status of the Kickstarter effort last week, they appeared to be on track to break the $1-million mark on June 19, based on a simplistic trending of what they had achieved to date. That turned out to eb right, but for the wrong reasons. As the chart below shows, they were actually below that trendline up until Wednesday: on Tuesday, in fact, they had a net negative total, according to Kicktraq data, presumably because of cancellations or other corrections. Then, on Wednesday, they raised nearly $95,000, pushing them over the million-dollar mark.

Updated Arkyd fundraising chart

What happened Wednesday? They got some recognition from cartoonist Matthew Inman, of The Oatmeal. Inman had already contributed $10,000 to the Kickstarter campaign, giving him, among other things, the right to propose a name for an asteroid discovered by the Arkyd spacecraft:

Planetary Resources was also featured on the popular TWiT webcast Wednesday, getting additional attention that likely contributed to the surge in pledges.

The nearly $95,000 the campaign raised Wednesday was the third-highest single-day total, after the first two days of the effort. (They have also raised $55,906 so far Thursday, as of 1 pm EDT.) They’ll need more surges like that, though, in order to make their stretch goal of $2 million by June 30, which will fund upgrades to the Arkyd telescope to support exoplanet searches. They already have plans for a late publicity push, including webcasts with actors Rainn Wilson and Seth Green as well as space tourist and computer gaming pioneer Richard Garriott.

4 comments to Planetary Resources breaks the million-dollar mark in its crowdfunding campaign

  • […] Oatmeal” in einem Blog und auf Facebook und Twitter ließ es gestern schlagartig wieder in der virtuellen Kasse klingeln. Während einer nächtlichen Web-TV-Livesendung überstieg die Zahl der Spender 11’000, und […]

  • Ailin Jasel

    Dear Newspacejournal,
    This question may be a little off-topic, So I’ve heard that Planetary Resources is going to attempt to mine asteroids. Which asteroids are they planning on mining? Ones in the asteroid belt? Isn’t that too far away to be useful at the moment? And if the company lands on the asteroid and begins mining it, who owns the asteroid? The company or the country which they’re from? Or does no one? In which case can they sell what they’ve mined?

    • Jeff Foust

      Planetary Resources is interested in near Earth asteroids, which are easier to get to than those in the Main Belt between Mars and Jupiter. As for property rights, at the present time no nation or organization can claim a celestial body like an asteroid, but if they extract resources from it, they would likely be able to sell them. (For example, the U.S. did not claim the Moon when the Apollo missions landed there, but no one questions that the U.S. government owns the rocks those missions brought back.)

  • […] On the PR front, Space Exploration needs more celebrity endorsement like this […]

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