Rick Tumlinson is the co-founder of several space companies and non-profits including Deep Space Industries, Orbital Outfitters, the New Worlds Institute, and the Space Frontier Foundation. He is an active space entrepreneur and space activist. He has testified on space-related topics before the U.S. Congress six times since 1995. In 2004, Space News magazine listed Tumlinson as one of the 100 most influential people in the space industry, stating:
Part agitator, part operator, Tumlinson has spent the past two decades advocating human exploration and settlement of the solar system and has been a strong advocate of creating commercial opportunities at the Russian Mir space station and at the international space station.