8 min read

Direct Air Capture & the Carbon Revolution

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 18, 2019

Imagine making fuel, plastics, and concrete out of “thin air." That’s the promise of Direct Air Capture (DAC), a technology that fundamentally disrupts our contemporary oil economy.

Topics: Energy Abundance Exponentials XPRIZE solar energy solar power energy storage fossil fuels energy abundance future of energy direct air capture carbon carbon dioxide fuel future of fuel carbon capture carbon capture and sequestration Global Thermostat Climeworks Carbon Engineering CO2 fuels NRG Cosia Carbon XPRIZE
14 min read

Abundance Insider: June 7th 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 8, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Fake news AIs, the world’s first 1 GW energy storage project, and an ocean mapping breakthrough.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Claire, Max, Nora, Hawken and Aaron

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.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of course work and video archives for entrepreneurs, like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider Energy Finance AI blockchain Deepmind Artificial Intellegence XPRIZE solar energy autonomous vehicles oceans
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
8 min read

Education at All Ages

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 24, 2019

Today, over 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone with access to the world’s information and near-limitless learning resources.

Topics: Education Abundance AR/VR Data AI Artificial Intellegence virtual reality XPRIZE connectivity Web 3.0 Spatial Web adult literacy retooling professional training future of education online education edtech ESL automation Learning Upgrade literacy job market mobile devices mobile learning People ForWords
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
1 min read

Live Webinar with Peter Diamandis & XPRIZE - Disaster Prediction

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 16, 2018

Today, we all have unprecedented power to make a positive impact on the planet.

Topics: food agriculture XPRIZE poverty
5 min read

My Top 3 Tips for Designing an XPRIZE

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 9, 2018

Let me start with a big congratulations to those of you who have already thrown your hats into the ring for the XPRIZE Visioneering 2018 Design Challenge.

Topics: food agriculture XPRIZE poverty
4 min read

Design an XPRIZE

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 28, 2018

This year, for the first time, I’m asking my community to help me design the next XPRIZE Competitions. Help solve Grand Challenges, and at the same time you might win $100,000.

Topics: Energy agriculture XPRIZE environment