Golden Spike is one of the many private spaceflight companies emerging right now with big plans to go to the moon. Golden Spike has bypassed the idea of cargo flights and the like and set their sites directly on the hunk of cheese 238,000 miles away. Turns out going to the moon is expensive, who knew? So Golden Spike says it will monetize its service: “The Golden Spike Company has been formed to monetize the exploration of the Moon through sales of expeditions and their surrounding media and merchandizing revenues.”
They plan to start launching missions by 2020, at the cost of $1.5 billion for two, round trip. Golden Spike is primarily looking to do [easyazon-link asin=”0803216106″ locale=”us”]private flights[/easyazon-link] for companies that cannot afford their own space programs, which as it turns out are also extremely expensive. Golden Spike itself realizes that it cannot privately fund an entire program, so is looking to collaborate with existing companies for rocket transport and the like. The big issues are the lander and spacesuits.Once these are developed and there is enough money behind them, there could finally be more trips to the moon. Next week, we’re going to have a whole feature on the future of private space exploration, but we had to post this video. Sort of a cross between a[easyazon-link asin=”B000055ZOB” locale=”us”]Cosmos[/easyazon-link] episode and a NFL Films highlight reel? For some reason it makes me take them less seriously. I can only imagine the day when “bargain” spaceflight brands will try to lure you in with two-for-one moon weekend specials, only for you to find out the lunar rover isn’t included. It’ll be a while before that goes down, for now everyone involved in private spaceflight are top men (and women!).
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Future Implications of Commercial Spaceflight
As goofy as the video is, this is just one more step towards a complete commercialization of space travel, and investors are taking this prospect seriously. If private companies can figure out how to cut the cost of maintaining space stations, flights, and colonies down, we could see some rapid progress in space colonization in our lifetime. When it becomes affordable enough, you can bet there will be a space-business boom. There’s even a company that wants to make a reality show out of a mars colony! Could it be that reality tv could finally contributed some sort of meaningful value to our civilization? I just hope they don’t start opting for cheaper space suit material..