Friday, April 1, 2011

Bob Richards' PSERF, March 25, 2011

Bob Richards, a "Space Dragon" who wants to expand the reach of the human race... 
and make a profit doing so!

In his talk last Friday, Bob Richards, a silicon valley space entrepreneur referred to the folks that blog about him. By virtue of this entry in my PSERF handbook, I suppose that now includes me. I cannot admit that I know the man well*, but he is an interesting fellow and his heart seems to be in the right place. For this special speaker, we met in a special location; not in the Biological and Geological Sciences Building, but over in the Ivey school of business. This was an appropriate choice, as Bob's expertise is in the area of space business. His primary goal these days? Expanding the economic sphere of the Earth from Geosynchronous orbit out by a factor of ten to encompass the Moon.

The presentation was free-flowing and Bob stayed afterwards to chat with several of us at the University's Graduate Club. While he spoke without slides, his talk was not unusual fare for PSERF which has attracted interesting speakers of all types, from experts on Space Weaponry through discussions of early cartography and the "inside baseball" story of science-driven space missions. Largely, I'm getting the impression that PSERF exists mainly to expand our concept of what we can do with these planetary science degrees of ours. In that vein, Bob had a great deal to offer us by describing in detail his experience with the emerging field of private space exploration.