On the heels of SpaceX's vision of a human colony on Mars, here's another idea for people who think of outer space the way the rest of us think of Hawaii: a space-tourism startup is selling trips to the moon at $750 million each.
The company, known as Golden Spike, actually has good pedigree: former NASA science administrator Alan Stern is working on the business. The plan is to repurpose space hardware for moon journeys, rather than build rockets from scratch, and to use the sort of commercial rockets we'll be seeing more of in coming years. The passengers would get the trip, and a chance to walk on the moon, before returning home. (A two-person mission like that would cost about $1.5 billion, Stern told The Washington Post.)
Oh, and Newt Gingrich, he of let's-build-a-moon-base-by-2021 fame, is listed on the board of advisers, along with other political big wigs.
This is part of a statement from the business: “The company’s plan is to maximize use of existing rockets and to market the resulting system to nations, individuals, and corporations with lunar exploration objectives and ambitions.”
So, yes, a niche market. Which might explain the cost of those tickets.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.