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.
BEFORE PEOPLE START SAYING SPACE TOURISM of this nature will never succeed because only multimillionaires can afford it, keep in mind that the first commercial airplane flights cost the equivalent of thousands of dollars in today's money. Once a venture like Golden Spike proves that lunar tourism is possible, although at a price, corporations will stop focusing on the feasibility of the concept and concentrate on driving prices down.
I see the future brewing.
I started an on line lunar tourism business where we will fly you on a one way trip to the moon, we only charge 350 million dollars. We also sell bridges and beach front property in Phoenix Arizona ready for occupancy after 12-21-2012.
Our business is called whatsamatterwithu.com
in order to thank everyone, characteristic, novel style, varieties, low price and good quality, and the low sale price. Thank everyone
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Just to be clear, this isn't really a space tourism company -- it's a private space company a la SpaceX. They are thinking that their primary customers will be government or perhaps corporate.
When Begelow's Space Motel is fully booked and inhabited, then I might this seriously.
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most expensive suicide plan EVER.
It's got to start somewhere.
Though I can hear all the 'occupy' folks crying 'that's not fair'.
I really am surprise we have not found one thing we can manufacture in space and or on the moon, to make it profitable to establish ourselves in outer space.
This moon venture above is all about tourism and so will appeal to those with this amount of free cash to spend.
I really wish something useful for all citizens on planet Earth could be made in space, medicines, energy resources, etc.
@shutterpod said: most expensive suicide plan EVER.
You got that right, no way they could make this happen even this decade. One, two really experienced guys won't make this any more plausible, even if one of them are Tony Stark:)
This is simply a neat way to get attention and flex your (small and nerdy) muscles. They got so much attention now that they probably will get some smaller contracts.
But no one will order a trip to the moon anytime soon and that is probably good for both the customer and Golden Spike.
-I dont want to live on this planet anymore
When will people learn? There is nothing humans cant do.
We just need the right motivation.
We created life for crying out loud! You think we cant send a few people to the moon? Been there, done that.
Going back to the Moon or Mars will either have to be Politically oriented, Money Oriented or both. Going back purely for science reasons isn't going to happen anytime soon. We have to make a buck off of it, or beat another country to the punch. It's sad, but that's the reality of things. Perhaps the majority of humanities thinking will change someday, but not today. I think some huge Earth changing event would have to happen for our line of thinking to change. Friendly aliens landing would be cool.
But yes this is the start of good things to come....it's going to take a long time though to set everything up...by 2100 I hope we have a colony on the moon and mars.
Just make it a profitable enterprise and we humans will be there!
Want\greed\desire and knowledge is our first sin!
Once this was illustrated to the GODS, they set us free and on our way!
Checking your sentence I agree. I wish to have $750 million dollars or a free trip to the moon.
But you failed to answer the question, if you had $750 million dollars, would you pay this same money to take a trip to the moon and return home to Earth broke, once again?
Yes, I would take $750 million dollars, gladly!
(1) Right now only Americans have been on the moon. I'm sure China or Japan would love to have the bragging rights to putting someone there. Even Iran could scrape together a mere 750 for being the second country there (even if taking an American ship to do so).
(2) We sent people to the moon in aluminium cans fourty years ago. It was a suicide run, and most of the survived. Once you are up in space, going to the moon is not much more risky than hanging out in orbit - and we have people doing that 365.24 days a year. Landing and getting off the moon is a little trickier, but again, done technology.
(3) The thing that make space so expensive these days is the triple redundancy that NASA puts on itself for obsessive safety. If we went back to the days of cutting corners, taking risks, and working quickly - then getting there is VERY feasible. Cutting corners, taking risks, and working quickly are the halmarks of private enterprise - so a company such as this has a better chance that NASA would.
It strange how we humans in our desire for glory but a blind mind’s eye on glaring facts as to the gigantic deadly amount of radiation that exist beyond the Van Allen belt which is deadly to humans and yes how little shielding there was for our astronauts in the little thin skin metal ship to the moon.... lol.
Oh what we human's purposely 'choose' to believe...
One day, when it is possible to send thick skin lead ship into space, yes we will go to the moon.
Well, that's nonsense. You're going to miss life. You've got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.
I could see solar-smelting plants on the moon, huge crater walls lined with mylar panels to focus the month-long sun onto a crucible of some sort... the implications are something.... but we have to ship a small city there from here, or wait for the robots to build it for us.
We don't even have robots here that build shelters, let alone anything more complex.
$750M is nowhere near enough to fund a trip to the moon and back. The launch cost for a lunar round-trip would be over $50,000/lb, and the payload would be least 30,000 lbs. The launch costs would be $1.5 to $2.0 billion minimum.
Riff_raff, your numbers seem to agree with them (two passengers). Looks like they didn't have to do any more calculations than you did.
Just another "space" group trying to hype themselves for other projects. Of course there could be something more to it. These wealthy power brokers, along with all the other ones, could be quite practical and are already planning to control interplanetary space flight 20 or 30 years from now. They don't care how long it takes (several generations). They are just jockeying for position for that future.
If you have the money to set up, and expect the technology to catch up in a few decades, I suppose now is the time to get into it. That way, when there are important new innovations, those that have prepared in advance can jump in before anyone else. If that is the case, we should start hearing about several other big consortiums getting ready too.
For the rest of us, let's not hold our collective breath!
Far Out Man-
Stupid me! Unlike you, I never considered the possibility that any "sane" investor would commit billions of dollars towards a project that has at best a 10% chance of producing a financial return 10 to 20 years in the future.
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet need to get on board before it's too late!
Dang it, I only have 749 million in my account.... sheesh.