Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards is a space entrepreneur and futurist. He is a Co-Founder of the International Space University, Singularity University, SEDS, the Space Generation Foundation and Moon Express, Inc. a lunar resources company competing in the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE, where he currently serves as President and CEO. Bob chairs the space commerce committee of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and is a member of the International Institute of Space Law. As Director of the Optech Space Division from 2002-2009, Bob led the company's technology into orbit in 2004 and to the surface of Mars in 2007 aboard the NASA Phoenix Lander, making the first discovery of falling Martian snow. Bob studied aerospace and industrial engineering at Ryerson University; physics and astronomy at the University of Toronto; and space science at Cornell University where he became special assistant to Carl Sagan. Bob is an evangelist of the "NewSpace" movement and has been a catalyst for a number of commercial space ventures. He is the recipient of the K.E. Tsiolkovski Medal (Russia, 1995), the Space Frontier “Vision to Reality” Award (USA , 1994), the Arthur C. Clarke Commendation (Sri Lanka, 1990) and Aviation & Space Technology Laurel (USA, 1988). He is a contributing author of "Blueprint for Space" (Smithsonian Institution 1992); "Return to the Moon" (Apogee Books 2005) and "The Farthest Shore" (ISU Press 2009). In 2005 Bob received a Doctorate of Space Achievement (honoris causa) from the International Space University for “distinguished accomplishments in support of humanity’s exploration and use of space.”
Bob is Co-Founder and CEO of Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx), a privately funded lunar resources company competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE competition and awarded a lunar services contact by NASA worth up to $10M, Bob has seen both sides of the private-public space question, being front and centre on a number of NewSpace initiatives and having played a key role in the NASA Mars Phoenix Lander mission.
In this talk Bob Richards outlines how a carefully planned private Moon mission could set in motion the technological, political, legal and regulatory precedents that will allow humanity to rationally and peacefully embrace and develop the Moon as the world’s eighth continent.
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