(New Scientist) Robots aren’t the only ones heading to the moon. The first private company offering regular trips to the lunar surface plans to start flights in 2020, shuttling people two at a time on exploratory missions. However, with an expected price tag of $1.4 billion per flight, or around $750 million per person, the trek would likely be out of reach for all but the wealthiest moonwalkers.
Today’s announcement, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC backs up recent rumours that Alan Stern, a former administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, had founded a company called Golden Spike in Colorado to run commercial moon trips.
Named for the final spike driven into the first US transcontinental railroad line, Golden Spike plans to market to governments, corporations and individuals to routinely send people to the moon for scientific purposes, to mine for resources or simply for prestige.