Peter Diamandis

X Prize Foundation

Pop!Tech 2005
31 minutes, 14.5mb, recorded 2005-10-20
Peter Diamandis

Peter Diamandis is a pioneer and leader in the commercial space arena.

Peter is passionate about two things: space travel and radical breakthroughs. Dr. Diamandis has a decades-long record of helping to drive commercial innovation in the area of space travel. His personal mission is to take all of us up there with him!

Inspired by Lindbergh's 1927 flight across the Atlantic and President Kennedy's 1961 goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade, Diamandis is inspiring pioneers and risk takers to take up the X PRIZE Challenge of flying humans into space privately.

So, who are the customers for space travel? Well, we are! Regular people--or "self-loading carbon payloads"--should be the market for passengers to space. The model already exists in the S-curve of conventional transatlantic air travel between 1927 and today.

With governments spending time and money on exploration, Diamandis believes that the main motivator for space travel should be exploiting the colossal wealth of minerals and sources of energy in space, not to mention planning for our survival.

"We finally have the ability--and the moral imperative--to 'back up' all the information of earth and humanity."

Currently, the average cost of a space shuttle mission is $100M per person; Diamandis calculates the actual energy cost of putting a body in orbit to be closer to $100.

The X Prize put up $10M to transform the way that people think about space and space travel. In the end, they proved a point: that a small entrepreneurial group of people could build a "backyard dragster" that could go into space.

This talk was from the Explorer's Club session at Pop!Tech. The other speakers in this session were Marcia McNutt and Carolyn Porco. The question and answer period can be heard at the end of Carolyn Porco's talk.

Peter Diamandis is a pioneer and leader in the commercial space arena. Peter is the Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation which recently awarded a $10,000,000 prize for private spaceflight. He is also the CEO of Zero Gravity Corporation, a commercial space company that offers FAA-certified weightless flights utilizing a specially modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft.

Peter is a Founder and Trustee of the International Space University (ISU) where he served as the University's first Managing Director. He is also co-Founder of Space Adventures, the company which brokered Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth's flight to the International Space Station.

Peter is a graduate of MIT and Harvard Medical School and the winner of the Konstantine Tsiolkovsky Award, the Aviation & Space Technology Laurel, and the 2003 World Technology Award for Space. In 8th grade, while living in New York, Peter won first place in the Estes rocket design contest.


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