Rick is listed as one of the top 100 influential people in the space field. Called one of the world’s top space “visionaries,” he coined the term "NewSpace" and is credited with helping create the new commercial space industry highlighted by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. A leading writer, speaker, and six-time Congressional witness, he helped start the first mission to find water on the Moon, signed the first ever commercial data purchase agreement with NASA, led the commercial takeover of the Russian Mir space station, signed the first private astronaut to fly to the space station, co-founded the Space Frontier Foundation, and was a founding board member of the X-Prize. As a result of his world-changing work, in 2015 he won the World Technology Award along with Craig Venter of the Human Genome project. He founded the SpaceFund venture capital company, is a member of the US Space Force Doctrine Advisory Group, and his non-profit organizations, the EarthLight Foundation and New Worlds Institute are creating an inclusive movement to use space to protect the Earth and expand life into the cosmos.