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Moon Space Science

Golden Spike Working On Private Moon Flights 121

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-of-these-days dept.
medcalf writes "NBC reports that Alan Stern's Golden Spike Company is planning commercial trips to the Moon. From the article: 'A group of space veterans and big-name backers today took the wraps off the Golden Spike Company, a commercial space venture that aims to send paying passengers to the moon and back at an estimated price of $1.4 billion or more for two. The venture would rely on private funding, and it's not clear when the first lunar flight would be launched — but the idea reportedly has clearance from NASA, which abandoned its own back-to-the-moon plan three and a half years ago. Golden Spike's announcement came on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, the last manned moonshot. Backers of the plan, including former NASA executive Alan Stern and former Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin, were to discuss the company's strategy at a National Press Club briefing at 2 p.m. ET, but some of the details were laid out in a news release issued before the briefing. "A key element that makes our business achievable and compelling is Golden Spike's team of nationally and internationally known experts in human and robotic spaceflight, planetary and lunar science, exploration, venture capital formation, and public outreach," Stern said in the news release.'"
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Golden Spike Working On Private Moon Flights

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  • by detain (687995) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @08:41PM (#42210941) Homepage
    I'm sure NASA would be going to the moon every month if they had all the funding they needed but sadly they no longer can. With that in mind I'm really glad that private companies are still pushing for space exploration and that governments aren't preventing them from doing so. I hope there are enough rich people interested in this to properly fund companies like this.
  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @08:42PM (#42210965)
    I think the number of multi billionaires that would sign on is small but it's cheap for countries to get a seat on a Moon mission. Rather than spending tens of billions themselves they can for a fraction of that get one of their people a seat. It's one of the smallest clubs on the planet and so far they have all been US citizens. I can see Japan and as well as much of Europe being very excited about the prospect. For Russia it would be an afordable way to get there without committing to a massive program.
  • by Belial6 (794905) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @09:08PM (#42211213)
    Yes we should. There is no good reason whatsoever to ban commercial exploitation of the moon. If there are particular parts that make sense to keep pristine for future generations, then make lunar parks to preserve them. Preserving the moon in it's pristine form is only good if there are people their to appreciate it.
  • by niftydude (1745144) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @09:24PM (#42211339)

    Commercializing the moon is another.

    Should we allow such endeavor to proceed in the first place?

    Of course we should. For two reasons.

    1. Space exploration won't become more than the sideshow it is now until someone manages to monetize it. If we want real sustainable investment in space and space related technologies, we need someone to be making money off it somehow, otherwise various governments around the world will just continue to drop the ball. It could be from mining, or tourism, or something else, but industry needs to get involved.

    2. I own all the real estate on moon (I bought it on eBay), so if anyone went there, they would have to lease the area they are using off my company - it's well past time for that investment to pay off for me.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @09:36PM (#42211411) Homepage

    Slow down Cowboy! We've barely managed to keep up a small station in Low Earth Orbit, much less figure out how to build and maintain habitable areas on the moon. It's lots more that just 'cheap propulsion systems'. It is an enormous expense of designing, building and maintaining things in a totally inhospitable environment.

    Who is going to 'migrate' there? Where is the economic benefit? Don't go all Kim Stanley Robinson on us, there are incredible financial constraints that are quite real and won't go away. At the rate the economy is going, you're going to be lucky to spend your final days in something stronger than a cardboard box.

  • FAIL.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 06, 2012 @09:38PM (#42211425)

    Hmm.. sending private citizens for $750 million a person; or $1.5 billion for two.

    I'm going to call FAIL on this one.

    Although, it would be cool to see this happen. These rich billionaires with money burning a hole in their pockets, would be spearheading the technology needed to colonize the moon and solar system.

    But the problem, is that they are not doing anything to lower the cost of space launches to make the exploration of outer space more affordable. They are just using existing technology, to send people there. And that is the reason why it fails.

    And until some country or organization is ever able to truly reduce the cost of lifting something into space, then this is all just a fantasy.

    At the cost of $750 million to send a 200 pound person into space, and all the life-support systems, this has no chance of succeeding long term. There is little point to profit from space industry at those rates.

    So.. I'm going to call this a big fail.

    I'm not going to hold my breath to see if they meet their 2020 deadline.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @10:05PM (#42211651)

    Allow? We? Is this a socialist dictatorship or some shit? If WE aren't going to the moon, doing anything with it, exploring, mining or anything else with it, then how do WE have the right to stop an individual from doing all those things?

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

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