Tags: golden | spike | moon

Give Golden Spike $750 Million And It Will Fly You to the Moon

Friday, 07 Dec 2012 12:57 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

Get ready for the ultimate travel experience: a trip to the Moon.

A group of space-travel veterans backed by deep-pockets investors announced Thursday that their new company Golden Spike plans to begin offering “routine expeditions to the surface of the Moon.’’

But you’ll have to be extremely wealthy or lucky at winning multiple Powerball jackpots to afford it. The cost is estimated to be about $750 million per person.

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"We’re not just about America going back to the moon; we’re about American industry and American entrepreneurial spirit leading the rest of the world to an exciting era of human lunar exploration," Alan Stern, a former NASA administrator, said in a statement.

"It’s the 21st century, we’re here to help countries, companies, and individuals extend their reach in space, and we think we’ll see an enthusiastic customer manifest developing.”

There’s no exact timetable for when the company’s first moonshot will occur, but it said research showed that “15 to 20 expeditions could be undertaken in the decade after the first landing’’ takes place.

NASA, which staged six manned moon landings between 1969 and 1972, abandoned plans in 2009 to resurrect lunar exploration program.

Among the movers and shakers involved in the project is Gerry Griffin, a former Apollo mission flight director who is serving as Golden Spike’s chairman of the board and former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is a member of the company’s board of advisors.

The company said in a statement that it plans to “maximize use of existing rockets and to market the resulting system to nations, individuals, and corporations with lunar exploration objectives and ambitions.”

Golden Spike’s name harkens back to 1869, ceremonial golden spike joined the rails of the first transcontinental railroad across the United States.

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