Business, Economics and Jobs

Golden Spike company to fly people to the moon (VIDEO)


The moon is seen near the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-119 as it sits on the launch pad while it is prepared for launch March 11, 2009 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Discovery is being prepared for the scheduled launch date of March 11, 2009 on a mission to the international space station.


Eliot J. Schechter

A start-up company, led by NASA executives, plans to fly people to the moon by 2020 for about $1.4 billion per flight.

Tourists would pay an estimated price of $750 million a seat.

"Our vision is to create a reliable and affordable US-based commercial human lunar transportation system," said former Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin, who serves as chairman of the firm, named Golden Spike, reported the Guardian.

Golden Spike, headed by NASA associate administrator Alan Stern, said it would use existing rocket and capsule technology, and would need to commission a lunar lander and moonwalking suits, BBC News reported. 

Stern said he expected interest from countries interested in lunar scientific research, promoting national prestige and space tourism. 

"It's not about being first. It's about joining the club," he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

"We're kind of cleaning up what NASA did in the 1960s. We're going to make a commodity of it in the 2020s," he continued, the Washington Post reported.

"We realize this is the stuff of science fiction. We intend to make it science fact,” Stern said at the news conference. He added: “We believe in the price points that we’re talking about.”

The company’s board of advisors also includes former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who cited his interest in a lunar base during his campaign as a US presidential candidate.