of today and the reality of tomorrow”
– Robert Goddard
but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.”
– Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
The Earthlight Foundation (ELF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded by Rick Tumlinson to support the expansion of life and humanity beyond the Earth by providing vision, leadership and credibility.
The organization is run by a small core team encompassing broad field expertise relevant to space exploration, settlement, engineering and communications. ELF is minimalist in management structure to remain flexible and drive effective execution.
ELF believes the purpose of living is to treasure and celebrate life, to explore everywhere that we can, to always push beyond what is known, to seek, to learn, to live and carry life with us where it does not exist, and experience all that can be seen, touched and known of this incredible universe. This is belief is captured in our overarching vision:
“To carry the seeds of life to places now dead, the light of love to places now dark, and the eyes, hands and minds of humanity to places yet unseen, untouched and unknown.”
To support the expansion of life and humanity beyond the Earth by creating, catalyzing and managing projects and activities that lead to public inspiration, education and action relating to space exploration and settlement – and to protect and expand the domain of life and humanity on this world by returning and applying the knowledge thus gained.
The term EarthLight comes from a story told by Apollo astronaut John Young, who described a haunting blue green light bathing the lunar surface whenever the sun was down and the Earth was up. This blue green light was bright enough to read by and illuminated the world’s surface, although the cameras of the day could not capture it in the way the astronaut’s eyes were able to do. This light, and its inherent spectrum, can only be created by the reflection of the rays from a sun of the same magnitude as ours, bouncing off of a living planet like the Earth. It is unique.
One of the key organizations under the ELF umbrella is the New Worlds Institute (NWI). This organisation is committed to enabling human beings to live and thrive in space, to identifying and developing the technologies and approaches needed to harvest space resources and using those resources to build new industries, companies and communities that will open the frontier, be it on the Moon, Mars or the Free Space between worlds.