1 min read

WEBINAR: Experience an Astronaut’s View of Space with Space Perspective

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 24, 2020

Interested in getting an astronaut’s view of space? How about taking a balloon ride to the top of the stratosphere, where you can see from horizon to horizon?

Topics: Private Space Singularity University exponential technology video webinar
8 min read

Abundance Insider: January 4th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 4, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: 2020’s top space missions, first-ever quantum teleportation, and AI’s novel applications in real estate.

Topics: Abundance Insider AI space exploration Real Estate Artificial Intellegence Private Space SpaceX future of real estate vertical farming genetic engineering
8 min read

Abundance Insider: September 27th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 27, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: New CRISPR explorations, CTRL-labs' neural monitoring armband, and a nighttime solar panel.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI space exploration retail Private Space healthcare deepfakes future of retail prosthetics cancer therapeutics drug delivery extraplanetary colonies space colonies palladium therapeutics
8 min read

Abundance Insider: September 20th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 20, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: A new record in residential energy storage, bioreactors for carbon sequestration, and democratized AI toolkits.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI space exploration retail Private Space healthcare deepfakes future of retail prosthetics cancer therapeutics drug delivery extraplanetary colonies space colonies palladium therapeutics
9 min read

Abundance Insider: September 14th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 14, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Mixing cement in space, Facebook's initiative to battle deepfakes, and a new candidate for targeted cancer therapy.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI space exploration retail Private Space healthcare deepfakes future of retail prosthetics cancer therapeutics drug delivery extraplanetary colonies space colonies palladium therapeutics
11 min read

Musk vs. Bezos: The Great Migration into Space

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 19, 2019

We are witnessing the next great space race… but this time, it is not the U.S. vs. USSR. This race is between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Topics: Space Energy Abundance Transportation space exploration Abundance 360 a360 Blue Origin Private Space SpaceX solar energy solar cells solar power cars multiplanetary species
6 min read

Private Lunar Lander – Reflections on SpaceIL Mission

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 14, 2019

In September 2007, I was joined on stage by Larry Page, Buzz Aldrin, and the deputy administrator of NASA to announce a $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.

The challenge we set was for a private team to build and launch a vehicle that could fly and land on the Moon, send back photos and videos, rove half a kilometer, and send back more photos and videos.

Here is a throwback video to the announcement:

 

In late February 2019, twelve years later, SpaceIL launched its lunar-bound Beresheet spacecraft on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9.

Beresheet brought the XPRIZE logo with it into space, and snapped these two selfies, one during its translunar trajectory, and one on its way to the Moon’s surface: 

Image: (Right) A Beresheet selfie taken on its six-week journey from the Earth to the Moon. (Left) A Beresheet selfie taken a few kilometers above the Moon, just moments before the vehicle’s unplanned kinetic disassembly.

I traveled to Israel this past week to join the SpaceIL team in Beresheet mission control for this historic attempt. 

This blog is my reflection on the electrifying mission of the first private lunar spacecraft.

Why Did We Launch This Prize, and Why Did Google Fund It?

We created the Google Lunar XPRIZE to achieve two primary goals:

  • To inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators to take moonshots.
  • To spur affordable access to the Moon and give space entrepreneurs a legitimate platform to develop long-term business models around lunar transportation.

Mission Accomplished

While the SpaceIL mission didn’t achieve a soft landing on the Lunar Surface, there is much to be proud of and to celebrate:

  • The Hero’s Journey of the SpaceIL Team: Imagine three young entrepreneurs who passionately and naively set out to land a mission on the Moon. No funding and no hardware experience. They would go on to raise $100 million, and to build the Beresheet spacecraft with a team of fewer than 50 engineers.
  • A Visionary Funder: We also celebrate the vision and passion of Morris Kahn, a South African-born, Israeli billionaire who was so moved by the passion of the SpaceIL Founders that he committed nearly $50 million to fund the hardware development and launch.
  • The Impact on Children & Adults: Having spent the last week in Israel, I know that team SpaceIL and the Beresheet spacecraft were known by every schoolchild and on the lips of everyone in conversation. Everywhere I’ve traveled in Israel over the past week, people young and old congratulated the XPRIZE Foundation over and over again for inspiring this mission.
  • Making History: The Beresheet spacecraft made history more than once on its exciting journey, including: (1) Being the first private company to orbit the Moon and touch the Moon’s surface; (2) Making Israel the seventh nation (behind the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, the European Space Agency, and India) to orbit the Moon, the fourth country to attempt a soft landing on the Moon, and the fourth country to touch the Moon’s surface.

Giving the $1M Moonshoot Award

MOONSHOTS ARE HARD. 

Taking moonshots is by definition difficult, and the outcome of SpaceIL’s mission goes to show that these world-changing prize competitions are far from easy to win. 

At the same time, space in particular is extremely hard… for now.

Ultimately, Anousheh Ansari (XPRIZE CEO) and I decided to give the team a $1 million 'Moonshot Award,' despite their “kinetic disassembly,” as an encouragement for them to continue the pursuit of their mission, and to launch Beresheet 2.0.

See the video announcement of our $1 Million Moonshot Award to SpaceIL!

And on the heels of my Tweet that announced the $1 million Moonshot award, the world responded with overwhelming support… 

If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again.

Space exploration and failure are intimately linked: nearly every nation and company to reach for the stars has first failed spectacularly at their direct objective.

In the 1950s, between the U.S. and Russia, it took 10 attempts before the first manmade probe (the Russian Luna 2) reached the Moon’s surface.

In recent years, SpaceX failed three times before they successfully launched their Falcon 1 rocket on their fourth attempt.

Yesterday I personally spoke to Morris Kahn, and was thrilled to hear his announcement on nationwide TV. 

“... In light of all of the support that I’ve got, from all over the world, and the wonderful messages of support and encouragement and excitement, I’ve decided that we are going to actually establish Beresheet Shtaim [Beresheet 2].

We are going to actually [build] a new spacecraft, we’re going to put it on the moon, and we’re going to complete the mission…” -- Morris Kahn

The team’s courageous persistence to the point of success is a powerful testament that will continue to inspire millions of children and innovators in Israel and across the globe.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, SpaceIL and Beresheet propelled the private space industry into a new era.

I am grateful to the SpaceIL team for their dedication and courage in pursuing the goal of the Lunar XPRIZE and connecting millions of children across the world to science, technology, engineering, and space.

I am proud that the XPRIZE Foundation is supporting Beresheet 2.0 with a $1 million award and can’t wait to see Beresheet 2.0 land on the Moon.

Join Me

(1) A360 Executive Mastermind: This is one of the key conversations I’ll be exploring at my Executive Mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is highly selective, for 360 abundance- and exponentially minded CEOs (running $10M to $50B companies). If you’d like to be considered, apply here.

Share this with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above. 

(2) Abundance-Digital Online Community: I’ve also created a Digital/Online community of bold, abundance-minded entrepreneurs called Abundance-Digital. Abundance-Digital is my ‘onramp’ for exponential entrepreneurs – those who want to get involved and play at a higher level. Click here to learn more.

Topics: Space space exploration XPRIZE Private Space SpaceX spaceflight moonshot Moonshots moon exponential technology SpaceIL
3 min read

GOOD LUCK! Private Lunar Lander -- SpaceIL XPRIZE Team

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 11, 2019

Today is a great day for innovators, entrepreneurs and dreamers.

Today, April 11th, the Israeli SpaceIL spacecraft calledBeresheet (which means ‘Genesis’) will attempt to land on the Moon’s surface in the Sea of Serenity around 9:45pm(Israel Time)… 11:45am PT / 2:45pm ET.

Only the U.S., Soviet Union and China have ever accomplished this feat.  SpaceIL will be the first private lander ever! 

Remarkably, the SpaceIL team built their lander with less than 50 engineers/entrepreneurs.  They are backed privately (principally) by Morris Kahn.

The mission has its roots in the $30MM Google Lunar XPRIZE which was announced in September 2007, attracting 26 teams from 7 nations to pursue this bold mission.  

When Google partnered with the XPRIZE Foundation, the primary purpose was to help inspire moonshots and to encourage the next generation of engineers and innovators to look towards the heavens, dream and do.

To Mr. Kahn, your philanthropy and support of SpaceIL is truly admirable.  To the SpaceIL team (Founders: Yariv Bash, Yonatan Winetraub, Kfir Damari), what you have built with such as small engineering team is unprecedented and will no doubt chart the path towards a new generation of low-cost scientific lunar landers.   Thank you all for the millions of children your efforts will inspire.

Today, while I’m at Mission Control in Tel Aviv (at IAI HQ), I, along with the world, will be watching and hoping for Beresheet’s successful landing!  

To watch the SpaceIL Landing go here:  http://www.visit.spaceil.com/

For more info on XPRIZE go here: www.xprize.org

MORE ON SPACEIL:

SpaceIL is a non-profit organization established in 2011 aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. The organization was founded by three young engineers: Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub who answered the international challenge presented by Google Lunar XPRIZE: to build, launch and land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. SpaceIL was the only Israeli representative. In October 2015, SpaceIL reached a dramatic project milestone by becoming the first team to announce a signed launch contract, that symbolizes an actual "ticket to the Moon". In January 2017, SpaceIL became one of the competition’s five finalists. The competition officially ended with no winners in March 31, 2018, after Google ended their sponsorship. The XPRIZE Foundation has continued with a $1M “Moonshot” Award.


SpaceIL is actively working to create an Israeli "Apollo Effect.” SpaceIL is committed to inspiring the next generation in Israel and around the world to choose to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

© PHD Ventures, 800 Corporate Pointe, Culver City, California, 90230, United States
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Topics: Space space exploration XPRIZE Private Space spaceflight Moonshots moon SpaceIL
5 min read

Moonshots, Grit & Virgin Galactic’s Spaceflight

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 16, 2018

Moonshots are hard.

Topics: Space Entrepreneurship space exploration XPRIZE Private Space persistence Virgin SpaceShipTwo grit spaceflight Virgin Galactic
13 min read

Abundance Insider: June 29, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 29, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Pain-sensing e-skin, expert-level AI debaters, and the first robotic eye surgery.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, AJ, Bri, Jarom, Jason, Claire and Max

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

AI Bots Trained for 180 Years a Day to Beat Humans at DOTA 2

What it is: OpenAI, a research project led by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, built and trained a team of AI agents that can beat the top 1 percent of players at DOTA, a massive online strategy game. The AIs were trained under very narrow conditions, particular to a dumbed-down version of DOTA2. What’s especially cool about this OpenAI bot is that it learned to play DOTA with long-term strategy — winning hourlong multiplayer games.

Why it's important: These same types of AI can be used to solve complex real-world problems that are similar to video games, like managing transportation infrastructure. It takes 12,000 to 20,000 hours to become an expert. With training speeds of up to 180 years of training per day, an AI can achieve expertise in just over 100 hours of training. This event showcases the power of an AI to perform tasks dramatically more efficiently than humans, and evolve infinitely faster.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

A Robot Just Operated On A Human Eye for the First Time

What it is: Researchers from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences have created the first robotic system, PRECEYES, to operate on a human eye. Inserting the robot just under the pupil via an incision less than 1 mm in size, the surgeon then operates it via a joystick, which eliminates the inevitable hand tremors that even the best surgeons cannot avoid. The robot conducted two routine procedures -- removing a membrane from the retina and dissolving hemorrhages under the retina -- and in both cases, the result was as good or better than unassisted surgery.

Why it's important: From dental implants to the da Vinci system, many robotic surgeons under development are beginning to perform as good as (or better than) the world’s best human surgeons. Not only should this improve outcomes and drive down cost, look for this to democratize access to procedures which were previously thought impossible.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Aryadeep S. Acharya / Written by Jason Goodwin 

AI Learns the Art of Debate with IBM Project Debater

What it is: IBM’s AI system Project Debater recently engaged in live public debates with humans for the first time ever. Facing 2016 Israeli national debate champion Noa Ovadia, Project Debater debated the question of whether “we should subsidize space exploration.” Mastering the formalized debate structure (entirely unscripted) on a challenging and controversial topic, IBM’s AI won over a majority of audience members, who thought Project Debater enriched their knowledge more than its human counterpart. Progressing to a second debate against debate expert Dan Zafrir, Project Debater continued to provide strong evidence within topics on which it had never been trained, a major indication that we are moving towards AI systems that can tackle complex issues without prior screening.

Why it's important: Project Debater marks an extraordinary leap towards several goals in AI: mastering language, data-driven speech writing and delivery, nuanced listening comprehension to boil down long chunks of speech into key claims, and modeling complex human dilemmas. Now able to learn across myriad disciplines, Project Debater can screen and select evidence with remarkable accuracy to help us build strong arguments and make well-informed decisions. This ability to navigate a messy, unstructured world is a major jump from AI systems that use predefined rule sets to master various board games. As Project Debater progresses, it may soon assist us with everything from evaluating a financial thesis to presenting evidence-based pros and cons for government policies.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Morgan McDermott / Written by Claire Adair 

Prosthetic Hand Can Sense Pain Using "Electronic Skin"

What it is: Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have developed an electronic skin, or “e-dermis,” that can fit over a prosthetic hand. Built with two layers that together mimic receptors in our body, this engineered skin captures a range of touch sensations, including the complex feeling of pain. Working with an amputee volunteer, researchers applied electric pulses to stimulate the participant’s nerves, as he offered feedback on sensations in his phantom hand. Researchers then used these stimulation patterns to provide sensory feedback to the volunteer’s brain as he interacted with different objects using his prosthetic hand.

Why it's important: Touch is a highly complex sense made up of many components, including pressure, vibration and temperature, and over a dozen different channels are required for perceiving it. For about a decade, researchers have attempted to crack the code on the neurophysiology behind touch and how to apply this research to clinical uses. Now, we can finally begin to grant sensory experience to patients with a range of prosthetics. The ability to sense pain could be useful for robots, allowing them to distinguish objects that are potentially damaging as they interact with the physical world.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Blue Origin to Start Selling Suborbital Spaceflight Tickets Next Year

What it is: Blue Origin, one of the biggest players in the new commercial space race, announced that its New Shepard launch vehicle will be open for commercial ticket sales in 2019. Beyond announcing their planned manned flights and 2019 sales target, details on pricing and the experience are scant.

Why it's important: 2018 has already been a huge year for commercial spaceflight, with successful tests from SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, and now this accelerated timeline from Blue Origin. This represents a fraction of a percent of what the next five years will hold in commercial spaceflight. Soon, we'll see regular passenger rides to space, an economy form around space tourism, and the advent of space industrial activities like manufacturing.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Biohacker Who Implanted Opal Card Into Hand Escapes Conviction

What it is: In New South Wales, Australia, a biohacker named Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow recently had his conviction overturned for implanting an Opal metro chip into the back of his hand. Transport authorities claimed that because he wasn't able to present his ticket to officers when asked, he had violated the terms of service. The Judge disagreed, arguing that he was not tampering to avoid payment.

Why it's important: As new technologies empower people to create and experiment in previously unanticipated ways, we'll see a variety of legal and social conundrums like this emerge. Linear systems like government legislation are clashing with exponential technologies and tools. How will regulations, service-level agreements and terms of service keep up with the pace of change?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.

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Topics: Abundance Insider Space space exploration Blue Origin Private Space DOTA robots electronic skin surgery