Visionary | Revolutionary | Founder  |  Speaker  |  Writer

Rick Tumlinson






“The Best opening keynote I have ever seen!”

Antony Benham – Chairman, The Mining Show Conference, Dubai

Welcome to the Revolution

Called one of the top space “Visionaries” on the planet, Rick is also considered to be a “Godfather” of the space revolution of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and a new generation of space pioneers. His ideas and projects helped create the framework for the current move to open the High Frontier. He’s testified 6 times in front of the US Congress, and works with groups as diverse as Space Force and UN teams working to establish the rules for humans to live in space. From leading a team that took over the Mir Space station for a year to selling the first ticket for a private citizen to fly to the International Space Station and helping start the search for water ice on the Moon, Rick has helped set the course for our breakout into space.



Space, Race, and Reality -

As a member of the space community — a field symbolizing the future as no other human activity does — I was convinced that I was too socially evolved to be prejudiced. Heck, we’ve been working the problem ever since Uhura started helping Captain Kirk save the Enterprise! 

Why I’m Glad SpaceX Didn’t Launch Wednesday and Why it Won’t be Bad if it Doesn’t Happen Today - Medium

I’m glad NASA and SpaceX didn’t launch Wednesday. Frankly, a part of me is also hoping they can’t fly this weekend. If you are pro-space, you might be too.

How to Grow a Dragon - The Untold Story of the Space Revolution

In 1995 before the House Space Sub-Committee I called for all transport to the Space Station to be provided by commercial space companies. This month that dream is about to be realized, as SpaceX’s Dragon 2 capsule delivers 2 astronauts to the space station.

The Need to Dream in Darkness - Space News

Spaceship Earth has a deadly infection, and it has already spread to all decks and levels. As we have seen from space, there are no borders when one goes big and looks back. They simply melt away, revealed as the figments of political imagination they have always been.

What Should We Call the Men and Women of Space Force? - Space News

Last year, I was invited by the U.S. government to a couple of workshops to help visualize future scenarios and strategies, which triggered a question in my mind: So what do you call members of the Space Force in all their varied roles?

Space Startups, Darwin and the Coronavirus - Space News

COVID-19 is a Darwinian event for businesses around the world, including space. Just as a revolution was underway to transform all aspects of our relationship to the heavens, the hand of nature knocked down many of the very dreamers making it happen.



Welcome to the Revolution

“Those who reach for the stars have no fear of the night.”

Rick started the Space Frontier Foundation with some friends in 1988. The Foundation kick started the space revolution you see today, including coining the term “NewSpace”. It was the first organization to take on the NASA/aerospace establishment and laid the groundwork for private citizens and the private sector to take their place in the opening of space. Without the Foundation, there might not be a SpaceX and many of the other companies working to create a space economy.




Nobody stays ’til somebody pays. Rick Founded SpaceFund to engage Visionary investors with brilliant space entrepreneurs. “Reusable/regular space access, government support for private space development, and adoption of space as part of the terrestrial economy are creating a Space Industrial Revolution. SpaceFund focuses on culturally impactful, innovative, frontier enabling start ups beyond satellites and rockets, including in-space transport, communications, supply chain, energy and human factors.”

EarthLight is a not for profit that stands for humanity to save the planet and begin our expansion into space. ELF focuses on the higher level messages, concepts, culture of creating human communities in space. This year ELF will be pushing for macro-space solutions to global warming, such as the EarthShade concept. ELF also supports other projects such as the New Worlds Institute and its annual conference, as well as the Space Cowboy Ball, and will be starting its EarthLight Endowment later this year.

The New Worlds Institute is about the nuts and bolts of building communites in space and is focused on the technology, engineering and business needed to create the needed industrial infrastructure of the frontier. NWI is developing the Space Development Matrix so professionals around the world can work together to develop the full set of things we will need to live and work out there. The group is looking for brilliant coders and managers for the Matrix and volunteers for its other projects.

New Worlds Conference

Rick started the New Worlds Conference to create a credible renaissance event as a “tribal campfire” for those serious about opening the High Frontier of space.

NW features a space business plan competition, papers and discussions on the tech and engineering needed to live in space, as well as space art, culture and social issues.

The Space Cowboy Ball

Rick created the Space Cowboy Ball to honor the heroes opening the frontier and those inspiring the next generation to reach for the stars. A barbecue banquet, awards ceremony, costume ball and dance party/rave, the Ball has quickly become a must attend event for the “cool kids” of the space movement. Awards have gone to the best space educators, films and TV and leaders such as Jeff Bezos, Buzz Aldrin and others.

ELF Endowment for Tomorrow

The Endowment for Tomorrow will support STEAM Space education and frontier enabling student research projects. This new project is in its early stages, and we are looking for Visionary donors to help us launch an everflowing source of help for those working on the Frontier.

Declaration for the Rights and Responsibilities of Humanity in the Universe

The Declaration is designed to establish First Principles that go beyond treaties, laws and policies to guarantee the rights of people in space – as well as their responsibilities.

“There will be butterflies on the Moon and trees on Mars, and a child born in space who will look back to the motherworld and know her as where they came from, then turn their head towards the universe and know that is where they are going.”

“The opening of the Frontier is not an engineering problem. It is not a money problem. It is a challenge to our ability to decide to make it happen and to think and act the right way to get the results we want, we need, we demand.”

“NewSpace, commercial space – whatever you want to call it – is rising, with or without government support. It is rising in West Texas and on the Gulf Coast, in California and on the Virginia coast, and rising from the ashes of the old space program in Florida and in small shops and university labs in a hundred places in between.”

“Gravity must be defeated.”

“No one stays until someone makes it pay.”

“We’re at our best when we’re given our biggest challenges.”

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