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 Director of the Space Division at Optech Incorporated.
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.”
As a student in the 1980s Robert Richards co-founded the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) together with Todd B. Hawley and Peter Diamandis. After coining the term "Space Generation", symbolizing a common bond among people born since the beginning of the space age, Robert Richards also co-founded the Space Generation Foundation with Hawley and Diamandis, now succeeded by the Space Generation Advisory Council.
In 2008 Robert Richards joined Peter Diamandis, Ray Kurzweil and others in the founding of Singularity University, an institution based at the NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, California, focused on graduate and executive level education about exponentially advancing technologies. Robert Richards remains an active supporter of these organisations.
In October 2014, Robert Richards and Naveen Jain will both be speakers at Techmanity, a Silicon Valley technology and innovation conference produced by The Fast Company and IDG World Expo.