Robert D. Richards is a Canadian-born space entrepreneur. He is co-founder and CEO of Moon Express, Inc., a U.S. company awarded a $10M commercial lunar contract by NASA and a competitor in the Google Lunar X PRIZE. He is also the founder and former CEO of Odyssey Moon Limited, an Isle of Man based commercial lunar enterprise and the first official contender in the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE competition. From 2002-2009 he was the founding Director of the Space Division at Optech Incorporated, a company developing laser radar (lidar) systems for space exploration, observation and operations, participating in the 2004 XSS-11 USA-165 mission and the 2007 NASA Mars Phoenix (spacecraft) mission.
In 1987 Robert Richards founded the International Space University (ISU) together with Todd B. Hawley and Peter Diamandis and he served as the university's first Associate Administrator for Strategic Planning and chaired the board's administrative and strategic planning committees during ISU's first phase of development. In 2005 Robert Richards 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.
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