Bob Richards Left Odyssey Moon to “Pursue Funded Ventures”

Bob Richards has written a blog post about his departure from Odyssey Moon, an Isle of Man-based competitor in the Google Lunar X Prize.

It was a very challenging goal, we knew, to embark on a private sector effort to extend the powers of entrepreneurship and risk capital beyond our current economic sphere of Earth orbit. It is a goal that I remain firmly and completely committed to achieving.

However, as reported by Parabolic Arc today, I have departed as CEO of Odyssey Moon.  After founding Odyssey Moon and taking it as far as I could as its chief executive, the rationale for investing my time and energy timed out and I have had to resign as CEO to pursue funded ventures. I hope Odyssey Moon remains recognized as a seminal mover in the history of commercial lunar aspirations.

Sources indicate that Richards has another lunar venture in the works. Details will be released shortly.

Bob Richards Leaves as Odyssey Moon CEO

Bob Richards has departed as CEO of Odyssey Moon, the Google Lunar X Prize competitor which is competing to place a rover on the lunar surface.

Richards is no longer listed on the Odyssey Moon website. The reasons behind his departure from the Isle of Man-based company are not clear.

Reports indicate that Richards will continue to pursue a lunar lander project. An announcement is expected within the coming weeks.

Tiny Isle of Man Emerges as Space Power

Island Britain: sleepy Isle of Man moves into the space age
The Times

In a nondescript building on a housing estate in Onchan a company called CVI made the laser optics with which Nasa’s Phoenix Lander spotted snow on Mars last year. Another Manx company, Odyssey Moon, is competing to win the $30million (£18.4million) Google Lunar X prize by putting a robotic landing craft on the Moon. A third, Excalibur Almaz, is developing space tourism.


Odyssey Moon May Fly Backup Beagle Mars Instrument


Moon Beckons Commercial Comeback for Beagle

Project managers for the British Beagle lander program are seeking redemption – on the moon – nearly six years after their spacecraft disappeared on Mars.

Collin Pillinger who headed the unsuccessful Beagle Mars project is in discussion with the commercial “Odyssey Moon” program to fly a backup version of Beagle’s most powerful instrument on board the Odyssey lunar lander.


Odyssey Moon to Carry British Payload to Moon



Education has taken ‘the next great leap’ in Britain as Odyssey Moon announces its fifth payload to the Moon.

Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon Limited today is announcing its partnership with the International Space School Education Trust (ISSET) and their customer Moonlink Ltd. of Yorkshire to put a British science instrument on the Moon.


Odyssey Moon Announces Corporate Partnerships With Four Top Companies



Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon Limited announced today that top industry leaders Near Earth LLC, WPP Group, Aon and Milbank have joined its corporate team. Odyssey Moon intends to become the first private company to supply payload delivery services to the Moon in support of science, exploration and commerce. This is the first time such major organizations have come together to support a commercial Moon venture.


Lessons Learned From Failed Mir Effort Fueling New Commercial Ventures


Alan Boyle has reviewed Michael Potter’s film, “Orphans of Apollo,” for his Comic Log website. He reviews the lessons that the failed effort to commercialize the Mir space station taught people:

The biggest lesson is that you want to have the government as your customer, not your enemy. “I think the slightly more commercial and realistic and politically savvy entrepreneurs who are now investing in private space understood where Walt went wrong,” David Chambers, who was MirCorp’s vice president of strategic planning, says in the movie. “And they’re prepared to play nice with the various governments that they need to play nice with.”


Odyssey Moon Aims to Win Google Lunar X Prize

Lunar Odyssey Shoots for the Moon

When the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize premiered, the first official team to sign up was Odyssey Moon — but the company has plans far beyond winning or losing the private race to the moon.

“Odyssey Moon is about an ongoing commitment to lunar enterprise,” said Robert Richards, Odyssey Moon Founder and CEO. “We believe there is a long-term business opportunity with the government and commercial partners.”


Paragon: A Fast-Growing Company During Crucial NASA Work

U.S. Rep. U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Chairwoman of the House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, recently toured the Tucson-based Paragon Space Development Corporation – a fast growing company that is doing key work for NASA and other organizations.

I found an announcement of the upcoming visit on the Paragon website. Although the news is a bit old, it contains a good summary of the company’s major projects, which include making life support systems for NASA’s new vehicles, the space agency’s new spacesuit, and growing a plant on the moon.


Bob Richards, Odyssey Moon Nominated for Tech Awards

Loretta Whitesides has this update on Odyssey Moon on the Google Lunar X Prize website:

We are pleased to pass on the news that Bob Richards and Odyssey Moon have both been nominated for World Technology Awards in the category “Space”- part of the World Technology Awards initiative held in association with TIME magazine, Science magazine/AAAS, and others.


Flowers to Bloom on the Moon


The first Moon flower will become a reality when private lunar expedition partners Odyssey Moon and Paragon Space Development Corporation deliver a biological greenhouse to the lunar surface.

Google Lunar X PRIZE contender Odyssey Moon Ltd. will announce its partnership with Paragon at a media conference held on March 27, 2009 at the Tucson-based firm, a manufacturer of key components for NASA’s Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle that will replace the Space Shuttle and take Astronauts to the Moon and eventually Mars. The lunar plant will be another space biology first for Paragon, having bred the first animals through complete life cycles in space, and grown the first aquatic plant in space.