Will entrepreneurs lead humanity to the stars?

A NASA astronaut does maintenance on the International Space Station. (© AP Images)

“I’ve wanted to fly into space since I was a child,” says Peter Diamandis. Now he helps others realize their space-exploration dreams.

Diamandis founded the XPrize Foundation, a nonprofit that organizes public competitions to spark technological advances. Participants already have created super fuel-efficient cars, devices that clear spilled oil from oceans, and even, as this video illustrates, spacecraft.

While XPrize competitors come from all over the world, Diamandis believes the contests reflect American values. “There is a culture here in the United States that says, ‘Its okay if I haven’t gone to the best schools, or it’s okay if I haven’t done this before,’” he says. “If I have a dream, I can go make it happen.”

Vote on the subject of the next XPrize competition. Invest in young scientists and help create the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. Who knows? Their ideas could take us beyond the stars.