Planetary Resources, the would-be asteroid mining company founded by X-Prize creator Peter Diamandis and backed by the likes of Google's Sergey Brin and James Cameron, on Sunday evening posted a video on YouTube showing off a prototype of its asteroid-hunting telescope, the Arkyd-100, due to launch later this year or early 2014. As the company's president and "chief asteroid miner" Chris Lewicki notes in the video, the telescope is surprisingly small -- about 24 pounds (11 kg), or the size of a picnic cooler. Lewicki also favorably compares Planetary Resources' in-house research and development process to that of SpaceX.
Planetary Resources did not provide an update on its proposal to launch a Kickstarter to help fund the cost of a telescope that fans on Earth could control, nor did it disclose any new steps it's taken to ensure it is in compliance with space law. Still, check out the full video below and read more about the company's plans on its website: