Private company to offer rides to moon by 2020
Golden Spike says it hopes to sell missions to the moon for over $1 billion.
A new private venture aims to sell manned trips to the moon by 2020, its founders announced today (Dec. 6).
The company, called Golden Spike (after the final spike built into the First Transcontinental Railroad), plans to sell each moon mission for about $1.5 billion — a relative bargain, said the company's president and CEO Alan Stern, a former director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
For the same price as many unmanned robotic missions, Golden Spike will provide a round trip for two humans to the moon.
"We're selling to nations, corporations and individuals," Stern told SPACE.com. "Get in line — and I think it's going to be a long one." [How Golden Spike's Moon Landing Plan Works (Infographic )]
Stern and Golden Spike's chairman of the board of directors, Gerry Griffin, a former Apollo flight director and NASA Johnson Space Center director, announced their plans today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Shopping for a rocket
The company's leaders have not yet chosen a launch vehicle or space capsule to transport their passengers; Stern expects to make the final selections in 2014.