Concept of a Golden Spike lander on the Moon.
(Credit: The Golden Spike Company)
A space company full of NASA and military veterans has announced that it will mount a commercial shuttle to the Moon by 2020.
Space exploration, the Golden Spike Company says, is about to change — by being opened up to the private sector. And it may just be onto something, with a staff roster filled with former NASA and US military employees and other space experts.
By 2020, the company said that it hopes to mount a shuttle service to the Moon and back that anyone can use — provided they can pony up the US$1.5 billion fare.
At that amount, it's just a little out of the price range of the average Earth citizen, but Golden Spike Company isn't really targeting private citizens quite yet. The company's website reads:
Our space expeditions will be marketed and sold to governmental agencies, companies and individuals in the United States and around the world — for science, for commerce, for tourism, for entertainment engagement and for education.
And, according to Wired, it has plans to charge governments for the transportation of astronauts into space.
The company also said:
The Golden Spike Company is planning to transform human space exploration by putting in place affordably-priced lunar orbital and surface expeditions to the only natural satellite of the Earth — the Moon. Golden Spike will further transform human lunar exploration by making these missions participatory expeditions that involve the general public in ways that create exciting new ways to monetise human space exploration.
We think their definitions of "affordable" and "the general public" might need a bit of tweaking. You'll get more bang for your buck by waiting around another 10 years for Elon Musk's Mars colony. It's 585 times farther, and only a third of the price.