Robert Richards

Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards is a space entrepreneur and futurist. He is a founder of the International Space University, Singularity University, SEDS, the Space Generation Foundation and Google Lunar X PRIZE competitors Moon Express and Odyssey Moon. 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 (honor is causal) from the International Space University for “distinguished accomplishments in support of humanity’s exploration and use of space.” Dr. Richards has said "The health of our home planet and the survival of our species will only be secured through the use of space resources and the expansion of Earth's economic sphere to the Moon and beyond. Creating an off-Earth economy and multi-planet civilization will safeguard the long term prospects of humanity." He has also said “Human society is nearing the precipice of a technological roller coaster that we aren’t ready to ride. The Singularity University will help educate and prepare humanity’s future leaders for a world of accelerating technological change and the profound challenges it will bring to our social, legal and moral precepts.”

Broadcast 1481 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards. Topics: Moon Express, Singularity University, ISU, commercial space development. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, We welcomed Dr. Bob Richards back to the program. As we started our first segment, I asked Dr. Richards about his work & exchange of ideas with Dr. Carl Sagan. Bob not only told us about working with Carl, but also with Arthur C. Clark & Gerard. K. O'Neill. We next talked to Dr.

Broadcast 1063 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards was our guest for this Space Show program. We started our discussion with an update on the Optech meteorological lidar unit flown aboard the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander. As Bob reported to us, all worked to their complete satisfaction with the unit. We then discussed the Odyssey Moon Limited venture which was the first contestant in the Google Lunar X-Prize competition. To learn more, visit

Broadcast 868 (Special Edition)

Guest: Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards. Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards was our guest for this Space Show program . We discussed Odyssey Moon Ltd, a commercial lunar enterprise based in the Isle of Man and the first official registrant in the Google Lunar X Prize competition. Bob began the discussions by explaining Odyssey Moon Ltd, its general business plan, their unwillingness to redevelop technology or hardware that they can buy commercially, and their plan for a continued lunar commercial presence.

Broadcast 745 (Special Edition)

Robert Richards was the guest for this Space Show program. We began talking about the upcoming NASA Phoenix mission to Mars as Bob's company, Optech, Inc. in Canada, had a Mars weather station on board. We talked about various aspects of the mission and the weather station, from how it was built, to having backup hardware in case of a launch disaster, to doing Martian missions and more. This discussion led to yet another discussion about the importance of the manned space program for the Moon and eventually to Mars as compared to science, robotic and delayed manned missions.

Broadcast 382 (Special Edition)

Robert (Bob) Richards was the guest for this Space Show program. We began the interview talking with Bob about his having founded the Space Generation Foundation, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), and the International Space University (ISU). We discussed his interest and focus on education for everyone but especially for younger people and getting them to realize fulfillment of their dreams, including their space dreams.

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