Peter H. Diamandis (born 1961): This American engineer is best known as the founder and chair of what is now the Ansari X-Prize Foundation. A native of the Bronx, Diamandis holds a Bachelor of Science in molecular genetics and Master’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics, both from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He later attended Harvard Medical School, where he earned his M.D.
Dr. Diamandis has played a key role in a number of organizations, the first while still a teenager when he co-founded Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. Since then, he has been a co-founder of Human Longevity, Inc. as well as of HeroX, PBC. He continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer at Progressive Automotive X PRIZE and X PRIZE Foundation (X PRIZE). He is also a co-founder of Planetary Resources, Inc., Space Adventures Ltd., and Starport.org. He founded International MicroSpace, Inc., Rocket Racing, Inc., and Constellation Communications Incorporated, as well as the Zero Gravity Corporation.
In 1987, Peter Diamandis was one of the three founders of the International Space University, which is located in Strasbourg, France. Seven years later, he founded the X-Prize Foundation, to encourage the privatization of space. He continues to be Chairman and CEO of what is now known as the Ansari X Prize Foundation. On October 4, 2004, Burt Rutan’s entry into the competition, SpaceShipOne, won the ten-million-dollar Ansari X Prize. This was done by completing two flights within two weeks or less.
The X-Prize Foundation continues to support the efforts of private space companies by offering the thirty million dollar Lunar Google X-Prize for the first private company to fly and then operate a robotic rover on the surface of the Moon. In 2012, Dr. Diamandis co-authored a best-selling non-fiction book, Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. He has received more than 20 major awards, including the “No Boundaries” Innovator of the Year” from the Economist magazine, in 2010.