Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Space Travel News .




MOON DAILY
To the moon and back for less than 2 billion dollars
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Dec 6, 2012


Alan Stern at work.

Two former top NASA officials unveiled plans Thursday to sell manned flights to the moon by the end of the decade, in an announcement 40 years after the last human set foot there.

Spaceflight, long the province of national governments, has moved toward increased commercialization in recent years, with private companies for the first time successfully launching rockets into orbit.

The US space agency, in the hopes of keeping costs down, even retired its space shuttles in 2011. NASA has instead paid for space on Russian craft to get people and supplies to the International Space Station -- and, more recently, on one built and operated by SpaceX that carried just cargo.

But with ever shrinking budgets, manned flights beyond Earth's orbit have been put on hold, with the US space agency relying on robots to do its exploring of the rest of the solar system.

The Golden Spike Company, its name a reference to the spike that completed the first railway to traverse the United States, aims to take part in the new wave of private spaceflight, as well as open up new frontiers by getting humans back into outer space.

The company estimates it will cost $1.5 billion for a round-trip expedition to the moon, a price tag it says is roughly equivalent to the amount government-funded space programs spend to send robots there now.

Golden Spike said it can reduce costs by "capitalizing on available rockets and emerging commercial-crew spacecraft."

The company aims to sell flights "to nations, individuals and corporations with lunar exploration objectives and ambitions," it said, adding that the estimated prices "are a fraction of any lunar program ever conceived."

Golden Spike has been working on its business plan for the last two years, and the unveiling comes a day before the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, the last mission that put humans on the moon.

The two entrepreneurs behind the company include a former Apollo flight director, Gerry Griffin, who also directed NASA's Johnson Space Center, and planetary scientist and former NASA science chief Alan Stern.

The company counts high-profile politicians among its advisers, including former speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, and Bill Richardson, a former New Mexico governor and a top official under president Bill Clinton.

The Apollo space program ran from 1963 to 1972, and included the iconic Apollo 11 mission that saw Neil Armstrong take the first steps on the moon.

The last mission launched on December 7, 1972, and returned to Earth 12 days later, after astronaut Eugene Cernan took the last steps on the moon by a human to date.

SpaceX, founded by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk is one of several private firms working with the US space agency to send flights to and from the ISS, and the first to become operational.

.


Related Links
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MOON DAILY
NASA's GRAIL Creates Most Accurate Moon Gravity Map
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 06, 2012
Twin NASA probes orbiting Earth's moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body. The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon's internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. Data from the two washing machine-sized spacecraft also will provide a better u ... read more


MOON DAILY
SPACEX Awarded Two EELV Class Missions From The USAF

Russia Set to Launch Telecoms Satellite for Gazprom

Sea Launch Delivers the EUTELSAT 70B Spacecraft into Orbit

S. Korea readies new bid to join global space club

MOON DAILY
Charitum Montes: a cratered winter wonderland

Opportunity Continues Rock Studies

Orbiter Spies Where Rover's Cruise Stage Hit Mars

NASA to send new rover to Mars in 2020

MOON DAILY
To the moon and back for less than 2 billion dollars

NASA's GRAIL Creates Most Accurate Moon Gravity Map

Chinese astronauts may grow veg on Moon

WSU researchers use 3-D printer to make parts from moon rock

MOON DAILY
Halfway Between Uranus and Neptune, New Horizons Cruises On

Dwarf planet Makemake lacks atmosphere

Keck Observations Bring Weather Of Uranus Into Sharp Focus

At Pluto, Moons and Debris May Be Hazardous to New Horizons Spacecraft During Flyby

MOON DAILY
Astronomers discover and 'weigh' infant solar system

Search for Life Suggests Solar Systems More Habitable than Ours

Do missing Jupiters mean massive comet belts?

Brown Dwarfs May Grow Rocky Planets

MOON DAILY
US to launch anew secretive space plane

N. Korea replacing faulty rocket stage: report

N. Korea completes installing rocket: report

S. Korea postpones rocket launch to 2013: official

MOON DAILY
Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

MOON DAILY
What is Creating Gullies on Vesta?

Heliophysics Nugget: Sungrazing Comets as Solar Probes

Asteroid dust from space

Nine Radar Images of Asteroid 2007 PA8




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement