Visionary | Revolutionary | Founder  |  Speaker  |  Writer

Rick Tumlinson

Space Revolutionary





“A tour de force of oratory!”

John Gordon, Director – The How to Academy, London

“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. 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. He helped coin the term “NewSpace,” founded the Venture Capital firm SpaceFund Inc., the activist Space Frontier Foundation, and his current not for profit, the thought leading EarthLight Foundation. 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.  (He also hosts the New Worlds Conference and the Space Cowboy Ball in Austin, Texas.)



Missing the moment history happens: The media and 'NewSpace'

While barely showing up in the montages of 2022 run by every media organization on the planet, last year, this year, and the next few  will be seen as the beginning of what the Washington Post calls “The New Space Age.” (Of course, as one of the people who helped coin the term “NewSpace,” I prefer “NewSpace Age,” but I’ll take the win.)

Apollo 11 vs. Space Tourism (July, 2022)

This week we celebrate the anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first humans to step onto the moon. Meanwhile, as the federal space program that put them on the lunar surface dodders and sputters along, a new wave of humans are stepping out onto the space frontier, except this time they don’t work for the government. Why is it important? Who benefits? What’s the difference?

Billionaires and Space — The Right Race

As the billionaire space race heats up, it’s easy to get the wrong message. The media often frame it as an elite group of rich boys trying to literally one-up each other as they thrust themselves into the sky. They are. But what is missing from these reports is any understanding of what is really happening, why it is happening, and where it may lead us — all of us — not just them.

Space, Race, and Reality

Americans and people around the world protested after the murder of George Floyd. As one who has promoted the roles of women and other underrepresented groups in my  events, and sometimes volunteers at a homeless food kitchen, I was able to nestle in my own self-congratulatory state of enlightenment. After all, what field is more socially progressive than space? We are the leading edge!

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!

Private astronauts are not 'space tourists'

Sept. 15, 2021 the Inspiration IV mission launched into space. On board the privately operated SpaceX Dragon capsule was an all-civilian crew of culturally and socially blended people on a mission funded by a billionaire, designed to raise awareness and support for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. None of them were tourists.

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

In early 2020, 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?

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

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


Documentaries Featuring Rick

Rick has been a part of the history of the NewSpace Revolution. From his working for the space hero and Godfather of the Revolution Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill, as described in “The High Frontier,” to helping lead that revolution – for example heading the private take over of the Russian Mir Space Station featured in the “Orphans of Apollo” he has been front and center in making history happen.


Welcome to the Revolution

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

The Foundation was the first organization to take a stand against the old aerospace establishment and for opening the Frontier to everyone. It 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. In 2021 Jeff Bezos awarded it with a $1 million dollar grant for its work on advocacy and inclusion in space.



One of the only Space Only VC funds in the world. Over $20 Million invested in 19 space companies.

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.”


The light of Earth is unique in the universe. 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 Conference as well as the Space Cowboy Ball, a “must attend” awards, costume and dance party in Austin.

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.

EarthLight Endowment

The EarthLight Endowment is a new start under ELF. Designed as a permanent fund to help under represented groups enter the space field. This new project is in its early stages, and we are looking for Visionary donors to help us launch an ever flowing 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.

“Gravity must be defeated.”

“No one stays until someone makes it pay.”

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

“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.”

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