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Planetary Resources Calls on Citizens of Earth to Aid in Planetary Defense

Planetary Resources Calls on Citizens of Earth to Aid in Planetary Defense

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Jun 28, 2013
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05/31/2014

 
Planetary Resources Calls on Citizens of Earth to Aid in Planetary Defense
Company Announces New Crowdfunding Goal to Create"Asteroid Zoo" for Public to Search for Dangerous Near-Earth Asteroids
BELLEVUE, Wash., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --PlanetaryResources,the asteroid mining company, has announced a collaborationwithZooniverse that will empower citizen scientists to aid in the search for dangerous near Earth asteroids (NEAs) and support planetarydefense.Planetary Resources is in the final stretch of its Kickstarter campaign,ARKYD
the world's first crowdfunded space telescope for the public, which has generated nearly 15,000 supporters and US$1.2M in pledges.If pledges reach US$1.7 million in the three remaining days of thecampaign, Planetary Resources and Zooniverse will create
AsteroidZoo
, a program to allow students, citizen scientists and space enthusiaststo find potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) at home and help traincomputers to better find them in the future."Planetary Resources values the power of the connected mind; whenworking together, we can accomplish much more than any of us can doalone," said Chris Lewicki, President and Chief Engineer, PlanetaryResources, Inc. "We're creating this program to harness the public'sinterest in space and asteroid detection, while providing a very real benefit to our planet."
 
Chris Lintott, astronomer at the University of Oxford and ZooniversePrincipal Investigator said, "Zooniverse volunteers have alreadyinspected more than a million galaxies, discovered planets and kept aneye on solar storms. We're looking forward to working with PlanetaryResources to make sure citizen scientists everywhere can make a realcontribution to spotting asteroids, too."It's been 66 million years since scientists believe a 10-kilometer asteroidslammed into the Earth, leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs.Today, there are approximately 620,000 objects that are actively trackedin our Solar System, which represents merely one percent of the 60million asteroids estimated to orbit the Sun. The NEA population of 1km+ asteroids is approximately 860, over 90 percent of which areknown and 155 of which might be described as extinction-level/dinosaur-killing PHAs. It is currently estimated that less than one percent of smaller asteroids (less than 100m) have been found. None of these currently pose a threat to Earth, and while many of these asteroidsare small, they are capable of regional disaster, such as massive damageto a metro city.Modeled after Zooniverse's popular Galaxy Zoo and other astronomy  projects, Asteroid Zoo will allow the public to search through terabytesof data collected by Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) for undiscoveredasteroids in a fun, game-like process from their personal computers. The public's findings will be used by scientists to develop advanced asteroid-searching technology for telescopes on Earth and in space, including theARKYD. Of all the asteroids ever discovered, 93 percent were found inthe last 15 years and nearly half of the near-Earth asteroids werediscovered by CSS.
 
 Eric Christensen, Principal Investigator for the University of Arizona'sCatalina Sky Survey stated, "We're excited to open our archive of morethan three-million images to citizen scientists around the world, and look forward to seeing what surprises are hiding in the data set. The results of this effort will provide invaluable feedback that we can use to make CSSa better survey."Defending our planet from PHAs is also a top priority for NASA, whichrecently announced a new grand challenge of "finding all asteroid threatsto human populations and knowing what to do about them."
About Planetary Resources
 Planetary Resources, Inc. was founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson andDr. Peter H. Diamandis. Our vision is to establish a new paradigm for resource utilization that will bring the Solar System within humanity'seconomic sphere of influence. The company will conduct low-costrobotic space exploration beginning with the Arkyd Series of spacemissions that will identify the most commercially viable near-Earthasteroids. These initial missions will assist the company in enabling theretrieval of raw materials from these select asteroids, including water, precious metals and more.Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries, threeof whom include Google's CEO Larry Page & Executive Chairman EricSchmidt; and Ross Perot, Jr., Chairman of Hillwood and The PerotGroup; who are committed to expanding the world's resource base sohumanity can continue to grow and prosper for centuries to come. Someof the company's partners and advisors include the Bechtel Corporation;film maker and explorer James Cameron; former Chief of Staff, United

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