Ron is a highly decorated Fighter Pilot and Test Pilot, Explorer, Entrepreneur and Humanitarian who believes that appropriately designed and targeted social enterprise can solve many of the problems facing our world. Ron is a retired NASA astronaut who has traveled 71,075,867 miles in 2,842 orbits of our planet during more than 178 days in space and 27 hours and 3 minutes of EVA during four spacewalks. He flew on both the US Space Shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Ron is also an aquanaut and participated in the joint NASA-NOAA, NEEMO-9 mission, an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world's only undersea research laboratory. During this mission he and the crew spent 18 continuous days living and working on the ocean floor. Ron's last U.S. government assignment was in NASA's Open Innovation Initiative, which seeks to increase openness, transparency, collaboration, and innovation within government.
In this capacity, Ron has been involved in many global mass collaboration and citizen science programs.Working in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Ron led an effort called Unity Node to develop a universal, open source, collaborative platform to enable humanitarian organizations around the world to work together toward their common goals. Outside his work with the US government, Ron is also a serial entrepreneur and has founded multiple business enterprises and social-impact focused startups including Manna Energy Ltd. which was created to leverage the $120B/year Carbon Market to finance humanitarian projects in developing countries. Manna Energy Ltd. is the first organization in the world to successfully register a United Nations Clean Development Mechanism carbon credit program for water treatment. Manna also developed, under contract with a partner organization the largest water treatment intervention conducted by a private organization; a four million person program operating in Kenya, completely funded by carbon credits and is currently working on a three million person program in Rwanda.
Ron represented Manna Energy Ltd. as one of ten global innovators in the field of water purification during the 2009 Launch-Water forum (sponsored by NASA, US State Dept., USAID, and Nike) and is a member of the Launch Council. Ron is presently the Chief Pilot of Tucson-based commercial space company: World View Enterprises and is the author of the highly acclaimed book, "The Orbital Perspective."