How about a Selfie from Outer Space?

space satellite

“Selfie” or self-captured photos are everywhere, especially in social network sites like Facebook. Everyone just can’t get enough of selfies and will post one alongside popular personalities or places. So how about a selfie from outer space? You will surely stand out!

If you’re one of the lucky ones who made a pledge to finance ARKYD, the first ever publicly accessible space telescope at, you can definitely look forward to a uploading a selfie from outer space once the project starts by 2014. You’re technically not in deep space though but a digital picture of yours will be displayed on the ARKYD’s camera and a photo will be taken with space on the background. Google Sky will show which places in outer space are great for a background image.

Pledge Equivalent

Other than a selfie which will be made available with a pledge starting at $25, other pledge amounts are equivalent to a specific value. Some of which include a video of you in space or technically your video played with the orbiting Earth on the background, observation time with the telescope (you can help search for asteroids and discover exciting objects in space, a picture of your observation may be included), membership to the Planetary Society, posters, name signed in outer space or etched on a spacecraft (with a  photo of course), posters, full sized or a 3D model of the ARKYD, access to tutorials and a space related curriculum, ticket to Planetary Resource (the brain behind this project), planetary tours, event invites, and a yet to be discovered asteroid may be possibly named after you!

Pledge add ons also included t-shirts and greeting cards.

The pledges will support the actual launching of the ARKYD into space and its lifetime maintenance. It will also fund the development of an interface which will allow users on Earth to access and control the satellite. Lastly, an educational related project such an exhibit, center, or tour will be developed as well.

What is the ARKYD?

The ARKYD (pronounced as “Ahrk-kid”) by the way was named after Arakyd Industries, a fictional company manufacturing droids in Star Wars. An ARKYD telescope weighs only 15 kg and measures 200 mm in height. The space shuttle will carry about 1000 ARKYD space telescopes.

The ARKYD can travel 8x faster than the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest manned aircraft on Earth. Despite such speed, it only uses 50 watts of energy. It will be open 24/7 and 365 days per year and will not be affected by weather disruptions.

In relation to the pledges and equivalent perks above, the ARKYD will deliver 150 selfies and 15 observations per day once in orbit. Data will be downloaded through ground stations in Seattle, Boston, and soon to be other stations throughout the world.

Exoplanet Research

One of the ambitious goals of the ARKYD includes exoplanet research through the transit method and gravitational microlensing. The former enables planetary discovery by observing how a star dims when a planet orbits around it. The latter on the other hand observes gravitational distortion through light waves by a star and a nearby planet.

What does this aim to accomplish? Asteroid mining for gems and minerals! That may be far from reality but it will be closer than ever with the ARKYD.


The campaign on Kickstarter actually ended on July 1, 2013 with 17,614 who made a pledge amounting to $1,505,366, beating the $1M goal. You can still support the project through Planetary Resources. See

About Maria Marilyn:
Maria Marilyn is the editor of TechBugs. Catch her on this blog and on Twitter.

Maria Marilyn is the editor of TechBugs. Catch her on this blog and on Twitter.

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