James Cameron And Eric Schmidt To Hunt For Exoplanets

Planetary Resources, the for-profit space exploration venture funded by some big names, is now hunting for planets outside the solar system.

Several weeks ago, Fast Company reported on asteroid mining and space travel company Planetary Resources' crowdfunding of a space telescope through Kickstarter donations; in exchange for contribution to the project, users could take "space selfies" of their portrait being displayed over Earth from orbit by the telescope.

Since making the announcement in May, the company has made approximately $883,000 of their $1 million funding goal on Kickstarter. With 18 days in their funding cycle to go, Planetary Resources announced via a press release that any donations over $2 million (not $1 million) will be invested in enhancing their space telescope to search for planets outside the solar system. James Cameron, Eric Schmidt, and Larry Page are all involved in Planetary Resources; the company launched last year with talk of mining asteroids for minerals but has steadily repositioned itself as a general private space travel outfit.

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  • Jamie Moran

    Interesting way to use donated money - most likely very little ROI on hunting for exoplanets but if there is no real cost associated with it as it's Kickstarter-funded, they're able to advance human curiosity without incurring a loss. We're likely to see this becoming a major platform for the less applied sciences, or those sciences that the government doesn't deem applicable enough to fund.