December 10, 2012
By Naomi IBUKI (Flickr), via Wikimedia Commons
A Colorado start-up run by former NASA managers plans to conduct missions to the moon for about $US1.5 billion ($1.4 billion) per expedition, a fraction of what a similar government-run operation would cost.
“Our vision is to create a reliable and affordable US-based commercial human lunar transportation system,” said former Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin on Thursday, who serves as chairman of the firm, named Golden Spike.
The expeditions would use existing rockets and spacecraft now under development to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
[...] The first mission would require an investment of $US7 billion to $US8 billion, said Golden Spike President Alan Stern, NASA’s former associate administrator for science. Once established, mission costs would drop to about $US1.5 billion to fly two people to the moon for up to two days.