2020AD: Space tourists will be FOUND ON MOON

To the moon for $700m. Jupiter and Mars? Don't even ask


A group of former NASA employees are planning to send two people to the Moon for $1.4bn as part of a new space tourism venture.

The newly launched Golden Spike Company wants to use existing rocket tech to get the mission off the ground before 2020.

The firm said the time was ripe for their business because of the private spaceflight sector's developments in suborbital space lines and private expeditions to the International Space Station.

"Golden Spike will exploit these advances, and others in the late stages of development, for commercial use, to offer human expeditions to the Moon at prices comparable to robotic flagship missions," the company's website says.

"By dramatically lowering costs—to levels that rival robotic science mission budgets—we’re going to open the Moon to expeditions by space and science agencies, corporations, and individuals from around the world."

To get tourists into space without the time-consuming task of teaching them to fly rockets, the whole thing will be automated and controlled from Earth.

The firm's chief, former NASA executive Dr Alan Stern, said it had already started a series of studies with aerospace companies to begin designs for the lunar lander, lunar space suits and surface experiment packages for its clients.

To start off, Golden Spike reckons that countries will want to launch scientific and prestige missions to the Moon as well as the odd loaded private citizen.

"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,” Stern enthused.

“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.” ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Astra fails, sends NASA's Tropics weather satellites back to Earth
    Orbital success counter stuck at 2 as upper stage of rocket shuts down early and CubeSats lost

    The first of NASA's TROPICS constellation launches came to an unscheduled end over the weekend as the Astra launch vehicle it was riding failed to deliver the cubesats to orbit.

    It was all going so well. The two cubesats lifted off atop an Astra Rocket 3 from Space Launch Complex 46 at approximately 1343 EDT on June 12, 2022.

    The initial flight seemed go swimmingly, but things went wrong after the first stage had completed. Viewers of video streaming live from the rocket saw what appeared to be the start of some tumbling before the feed was abruptly cut off. NASA's California-based commercial rocket-making partner Astra confirmed that the upper stage had shut down early, dooming the payload to a considerably earlier than planned rendezvous with Earth.

    Continue reading
  • Mars helicopter needs patch to fly again after sensor failure
    NASA engineers continue to show Ingenuity as uplinking process begins

    The Mars Ingenuity helicopter is in need of a patch to work around a failed sensor before another flight can be attempted.

    The helicopter's inclinometer failed during a recommissioning effort ahead of the 29th flight. The sensor is critical as it will reposition the craft nearer to the Perseverance rover for communication purposes.

    Although not required during flight, the inclinometer (which consists of two accelerometers) is used to measure gravity prior to spin-up and takeoff. "The direction of the sensed gravity is used to determine how Ingenuity is oriented relative to the downward direction," said Håvard Grip, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter chief pilot.

    Continue reading
  • Algorithm spots 104 asteroids in huge piles of data
    Rocks stood out like a THOR thumb for code

    Researchers at The Asteroid Institute have developed a way to locate previously unknown asteroids in astronomical data, and all it took was a massive amount of cloud computing power to do it.

    Traditionally, asteroid spotters would have to build so-called tracklets of multiple night sky images taken in short succession that show a suspected minor planetoid's movement. If what's observed matches orbital calculations, congratulations: it's an asteroid. 

    Asteroid Institute scientists are finding a way around that time sink with a novel algorithm called Tracklet-less Heliocentric Orbit Recovery, or THOR, that can comb through mountains of data, make orbital predictions, transform sky images, and match it to other data points to establish asteroid identity.

    Continue reading
  • NASA's 161-second helicopter tour of Martian terrain
    Ingenuity footage sent back to Earth via Perseverance, despite looming battery problem

    Video On Friday NASA released footage of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flying further and faster than ever before.

    The film recorded during Ingenuity's 25th flight on April 8 when it flew 704 meters at up to 5.5 meters per second.

    In the sped-up footage shown below, the vehicle climbs to 10 meters, heads southwest, accelerates to max speed in under three seconds, and flies over Martian sand ripples and rock fields before landing on relatively flat terrain.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • NASA's InSight doomed as Mars dust coats solar panels
    The little lander that couldn't (any longer)

    The Martian InSight lander will no longer be able to function within months as dust continues to pile up on its solar panels, starving it of energy, NASA reported on Tuesday.

    Launched from Earth in 2018, the six-metre-wide machine's mission was sent to study the Red Planet below its surface. InSight is armed with a range of instruments, including a robotic arm, seismometer, and a soil temperature sensor. Astronomers figured the data would help them understand how the rocky cores of planets in the Solar System formed and evolved over time.

    "InSight has transformed our understanding of the interiors of rocky planets and set the stage for future missions," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said in a statement. "We can apply what we've learned about Mars' inner structure to Earth, the Moon, Venus, and even rocky planets in other solar systems."

    Continue reading
  • Voyager 1 space probe producing ‘anomalous telemetry data’
    Engineers debugging at 160 bits per second, with 41 hours latency

    NASA engineers are investigating anomalous telemetry data produced by venerable space probe Voyager 1.

    A Wednesday announcment states that the probe is operating normally, receiving and executing commands from Earth, and still doing science and phoning home with data.

    But Voyager 1’s attitude articulation and control system (AACS) – kit that helps point the probe’s antenna towards Earth - does not currently “reflect what’s actually happening onboard.”

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022