Asteroid miner exceeds $1 million crowd-funding goal

Asteroid miner Planetary Resources, the Seattle-based asteroid exploration company, reached its $1 million pledge goal to build a space telescope before the auto imposed deadline and it is now aiming even higher.

In the nine days left for the crowd-funding initiative, the company said it expects to double the initial goal to $2 million. On Friday morning, Planetary Resources had nearly $1.1 million and over 12,800 backers.

The start-up unveiled the plan on May 29, and netted $300,00 in pledges its first day.

The way it works is very simple. Donating $25 let supporters  send a picture to be displayed on the telescope and a remote camera snaps a new image, having the Earth in the background.

For more money, you can keep track of that spot, or take a series of photos. You can also donate your time to science and schools.

And for $200, contributors can actually use the telescope to look at an astronomical object.

To attract new sponsors, the company said it has added fresh incentives.

Founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson and Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries, three of whom include Google's CEO Larry Page & Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Ross Perot, Jr., Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group, who are committed to expanding the world's resource base so that humanity can continue to grow and prosper. Some of the company's advisors include film maker and explorer James Cameron, former Chief of Staff, United States Air Force General T. Michael Moseley (Ret.) and Sara Seager, Ph.D, Professor of Planetary Science and Physics.

Detailed information regarding the campaign is available on the Kickstarter website.

Image: Screenshot from YouTube