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Private U.S. company is shooting for manned moon travel by 2020

Dec 07, 2012 6:05 am

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The price tag of the hoped-for human payloads heading to the moon is a bit hefty, but perhaps the company will get to the point where off-peak discounts will come into play.

— Dennis Schaal

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George Eastman House Collection

Just as U.S. astronaut James Irwin walked on the moon in 1971, Golden Spike wants travelers to follow in his footsteps. George Eastman House Collection

On the 40th anniversary of the launch of the final manned mission to the moon by Apollo 17, private US company, Golden Spike, announces plans to offer manned space flights to the surface of the moon by 2020.

American company Golden Spike has announced that it plans to offer manned space flights to the surface of the moon by 2020.

The company made the announcement on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 17, which was the last manned mission to the moon.

The founders of the company, including former NASA executive Alan Stern and former Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin, discussed the company’s plans for the future at a National Press Club briefing in Washington DC.

“Our vision is to create a reliable and affordable, US-based commercial human lunar transportation system that enables the exploration of the moon, by humans from virtually any nation, or any corporation, or any individual wishing to accomplish objectives on the moon,” Mr Griffin said.

Golden Spike estimates that each two-man mission to the moon will cost approximately $1.4 billion. Alan Stern, the company’s CEO, said there are numerous countries that could be interested in a manned trip to the moon.

“We can make it affordable for mid-sized countries like a Korea for example, or like an Indonesia, or like a South Africa, and we could name a lot more just going around the continents, to be in the business of lunar exploration,” Mr Stern said. 


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