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Golden Spike Working On Private Moon Flights

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the one-of-these-days dept.

Moon 121

medcalf writes "NBC reports that Alan Stern's Golden Spike Company is planning commercial trips to the Moon. From the article: 'A group of space veterans and big-name backers today took the wraps off the Golden Spike Company, a commercial space venture that aims to send paying passengers to the moon and back at an estimated price of $1.4 billion or more for two. The venture would rely on private funding, and it's not clear when the first lunar flight would be launched — but the idea reportedly has clearance from NASA, which abandoned its own back-to-the-moon plan three and a half years ago. Golden Spike's announcement came on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, the last manned moonshot. Backers of the plan, including former NASA executive Alan Stern and former Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin, were to discuss the company's strategy at a National Press Club briefing at 2 p.m. ET, but some of the details were laid out in a news release issued before the briefing. "A key element that makes our business achievable and compelling is Golden Spike's team of nationally and internationally known experts in human and robotic spaceflight, planetary and lunar science, exploration, venture capital formation, and public outreach," Stern said in the news release.'"

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121 comments

If I were planning this... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42210925)

If I were planning this, I'd like to first launch an automated habitat onto the Moon. If we weren't in a Cold War driven "space race", maybe we would have done that. We have some working knowledge now about long duration exposure to the space environment. We just need to work out landing something ISS-sized on a planet, or getting manufacturing capabilities there to build it in-situ. We also have better robots now. Build it, and then come.

Commercial exploitation of the Moon (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42210987)

Should we allow commercial exploitation of the moon?

Sending astronauts there to discover new things, to take moon rock back to earth for research, to set up a moon-based telescope or something akin to that is one thing.

Commercializing the moon is another.

Should we allow such endeavor to proceed in the first place?

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (4, Interesting)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211091)

Eventually the moon will replace Florida as *the ultimate* retirement community. It's really only a matter of getting cheap propulsion systems, and then everything else falls into place. If a trip to the moon can be reduced to the cost of, say, 5x a roundtrip cross-country flight, then infrastructure will start to be built, communities set up, regular freight traffic (space truckers!) and then people by their thousands migrating there. Close enough to home but with 1/6 the gravity (and fewer falling injuries, bonus). It's the perfect place to retire to, once the infrastructure gets there.

I'm hoping this happens in the next 40ish years so I can spend my final days there.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211411)

Slow down Cowboy! We've barely managed to keep up a small station in Low Earth Orbit, much less figure out how to build and maintain habitable areas on the moon. It's lots more that just 'cheap propulsion systems'. It is an enormous expense of designing, building and maintaining things in a totally inhospitable environment.

Who is going to 'migrate' there? Where is the economic benefit? Don't go all Kim Stanley Robinson on us, there are incredible financial constraints that are quite real and won't go away. At the rate the economy is going, you're going to be lucky to spend your final days in something stronger than a cardboard box.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (3, Informative)

MangoCats (2757129) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212269)

I've lived in Florida all my life, the retirees who actually live here are incredibly cheap, I simply can't imagine them paying even $100/kg for their food, water and air. (now, the people who buy expensive beachfront real-estate and never use it are another thing... they are our tax base.)

If, by infrastructure, you mean "farm domes," then think about how much area under dome is required to support each person and compare that to the size of your average McMansion.... I'm guessing you'd need dozens of McMansions worth of enclosed habitat to support each person, and before you get into "a glass roof is cheaper to maintain per sq.ft. than a home" think about replacement of lost gasses, meteor strike repairs, dust cleaning, etc.

At 1.4B/2 riders, I might hope that they'll do a couple of trips a year, but there just aren't presently enough billionaires on the planet to support more than that on a continuing basis.

Maybe getting the billionaires to spend their billions (on this, or anything, really) will stimulate the economy enough to empower more of us to be able to take the trip?

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (4, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212445)

The reason why the "small space station" is a problem is precisely because it is in Low Earth Orbit. There are no "native resources" at that location to do anything useful. That particular orbit is really only useful as a way station to other places in the Solar System and for people and stuff going in both directions... to the Earth and from the Earth to elsewhere.

The problem with the ISS and why it is so hard to keep going is because it is incomplete. It was also done in the most expensive way possible and with the least sustainable way of keeping it going. I consider it a miracle that it was put up in the first place mainly because of the insane contracts and government bureaucracies involved in getting it built. If you built an international airport with eight runways, hundreds of hangers, thousands of rental cars, several hundred employees, and an interstate highway leading up to that airport but only had two Cessna airplanes fly into it each year.... it would be equally useless and a huge waste of resources. That is what we have with the ISS. It could be useful but it was built in the wrong way to be useful in the way you are suggesting.

You are also making the completely wrong notion that commercial spaceflight activity is not currently happening except for a few stupid extreme adventure people like Felix Baumgartner. It couldn't be further from the truth and in fact commercial spaceflight activity is already a multi-billion dollar industry. The Earth and its economy would simply shut down if it wasn't for existing infrastructure in space and for existing applications of commercial spaceflight. You use them all of the time without knowing it too. When you see astronauts running around, they are just the tip of the iceberg of the actual activity which is happening. Simply put, there is plenty to do in space and ways to make money just to support the existing infrastructure of what we are currently doing in space. That by itself would more than justify putting some people up there simply to take care of that equipment... particularly given the increasing complexity of much of that equipment which is being sent into space.

In other words, there are some space tourists and extreme adventure type people going into space, but they are so insignificant right now as to be ignorable on a statistical basis for the real stuff that is happening in space. Supporting that infrastructure from stuff you can get from space is already right now something which can close a business case for going up there right now. In fact, there are multiple businesses who are trying to do just that, and Golden Spike is just the latest of a long string of companies.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

_4rp4n3t (1617415) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212791)

The Earth and its economy would simply shut down if it wasn't for existing infrastructure in space and for existing applications of commercial spaceflight

Uh, I'd like to see you support that wild assertion with some pretty solid facts please!

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213073)

1) GPS/Galileo (arguably not commercial but has created a huge commercial market and applications that we rely on heavily). In another 20-30 years aircraft will probably fly all automated using satnav. Other applications that rely more and more on the ability to locate things in 3D within cms or even mms.
2) Commercial satcomms - medical, internet, phone, TV,etc.
3) Weathersats - now you can see what is coming. Shut them down and we'll be back to asking grandpa if his knee is itchy.
4) Earth resource sats - forestry, city planning (especially in 3rd world countries), water management and other resource planning, geology/mining, farming and plenty of other applications - most governments rely on this.
5) AIS - safety of shipping at sea, national security maybe?
6) Building and operating satellites for educational purposes - this is what got me into the space industry to begin with. This made me realise that it is actually possible for anyone to get involved in space and not just some PhDs working for NASA. This has at least partly led to me doing my MSc.
7) Solar monitoring satellites - SOHO, STEREO - these and future ones will become critical for protecting space assets as well as systems on the ground.
8) Monitoring nuclear proliferation and related things.

And I'm sure plenty of others I can't think of now.

Amazing. I've known all this and have been working in the space industry for 18 years, but did not really realise how much we depend on space until making this list!

Shutting down all space resources will be much more than an inconvenience. Saying the economy will shut down might be slightly dramatic, but not much. It will be expensive, it will cause a LOT more work and will result in major economic damage. People WILL die because of the shutdown. Most programs the UN works on will become difficult-to-impossible to continue effectively.

In 20 years, shutting down the space infrastructure WILL destroy the economy.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213117)

if all space infrastructure were all of a sudden disabled it would be inconvenient for many, but "the economy" has a little more resilience than you give it credit for

everyone likes to think the industry they work in is important, but unfortunately NASA has been battling to justify its budget for a long time now, and its because its full of all the things that makes progress difficult. the following article describes:
http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/gettospace.html [jerrypournelle.com]

many of the things you list are nice, but they aren't critical for the economy... in fact other than communication relay and possibly gps to some extent, they are all supurfluous as far as the economy is concerned... most companies and consumers don't stop their selling and buying if they don't know the weather, and while nuclear proliferation may seem important to the pentagon, the corporate world and the consuming public don't really give a rats

satellites are a great communication medium, but they aren't the only (they aren't even the best)

you know what would destroy the economy if it were to suddenly disappear? ...alcohol

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (2)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213391)

If you want to know what would happen to the economy if alcohol was to disappear, all you need to do is look back to the prohibition era in the USA during the 1930's. As a social policy it was an utter disaster, but economically it wasn't nearly so bad and the Great Depression had nothing to do with the lack of alcohol production.... although a solid argument could be made that it may have been more than coincidence that the economy fell part when prohibition was passed and it recovered when it was repealed.

The interesting thing about the role of space-based assets is that the tendency is for increasing reliance upon them, not the other way around. Obviously the economy of the world did not depend upon anything in space in the 1950's as there was nothing in space at all. Even throughout most of the 1960's and 1970's, most of what was done in space could be done on the ground and indeed somewhat easier. Telecom satellites are one area where there was competition from cable laying ships... a decidedly 19th century technology somewhat updated to the 21st century through the use of fibre optic cables but still mostly recognizable to the trans-atlantic cables of a century earlier.

The interesting thing to note though, of everything that is critical infrastructure that really matters, absolutely none of it is being run by NASA with perhaps the exception of the Deep Space Network... and even that shows signs that will be replaced eventually by something not operated by NASA. Don't think that I'm trying to advocate for a level of increased funding for NASA, as I'm not. I think that agency has long outlived its usefulness in terms of being "the space agency". It really needs to turn back into what it once was and be a place to experiment with really cool technological ideas.... just as Jerry Pournelle was advocating in that article you linked. Projects like the Dawn mission to the asteroids are precisely what NASA should be doing, as an exploration agency that is also testing new technologies that may be used elsewhere afterward. The NACA did that earlier with aviation technologies, and NASA still has an aviation compoent (the first "A" in NASA).

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

mforbes (575538) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214207)

"although a solid argument could be made that it may have been more than coincidence that the economy fell part when prohibition was passed and it recovered when it was repealed."

Well, sure, except that you have your timing wrong. Prohibition was passed in 1920, and repealed in 1933. That period saw the boom period of the Roaring Twenties, mostly as a result of rampant stock speculation, and most of that without any significant research into the actual value of the stocks being traded. The crash of October 1929 launched the US and the rest of the industrialized world into the Great Depression, from which we didn't recover in the US until around 1940. Other parts of the world didn't recover until after WWII ended.

So yes, your argument would make sense, if only it weren't incorrect.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (2)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212719)

Eventually the moon will replace Florida as *the ultimate* retirement community.

The reason everyone retires to Florida is because the weather doesn't get too cold in the winter. I'm not sure how the moon is going to compete there.

How indeed (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212893)

The reason everyone retires to Florida is because the weather doesn't get too cold in the winter. I'm not sure how the moon is going to compete there.

How long was the hurricane season on the moon again?

Oh, and how big are the Moon Roaches...

No sir, can't imagine how it would compete.

Re:How indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213833)

u owe me nu kb ahole

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213131)

the moon... where the voting public would love politicians to retire

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213623)

Meh. I personally would not care to retire to a place like the moon (or Mars for that matter). Just the very thought of it is depressing, knowing that outside the little habitat that is sustaining you, there is nothing else alive.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213799)

Meh. I personally would not care to retire to a place like the moon (or Mars for that matter). Just the very thought of it is depressing, knowing that outside the little habitat that is sustaining you, there is nothing else alive.

Just don't move to a climate where the temperature falls below freezing for a couple months of the year... or to a place where the temperatures stay above 100 for the whole day. Not all of us can live in Malibu where the temperatures year-round are pleasant with a gentle breeze and little in the way of nasty storms that cause other problems.

Mankind has dealt with living in less than ideal locations for millennia and has created technologies to be able to cope with living in those harsh climates. People live year-round on the South Pole in a place that if you went outside that little habitat which is sustaining them for more than a brief trip that they will most certainly die. Arguably the same thing could be said about people who live in Minneapolis. You certainly don't want your care to run out of gasoline in January while traveling through rural Minnesota and you also want to make sure your care is in good repair if making such a trip.

I also like to point out that the original village of Los Angeles in California had every last man, woman, and child die due to a lack of water and food. It was a pretty miserable place to live until some advanced technology in the form of roads, ships, and irrigation canals (including culinary water sources) were able to be brought into the Los Angeles basin. Now it is a city of several million people... very few of which even bother paying attention to the complex technology which is keeping them alive.

I'll agree that living on the Moon is a step a bit harder in terms of worrying about finding air to breathe, but it isn't too hard. Furthermore, all you need to do in order to get more oxygen is to simply sinter some regolith.... the oxygen certainly doesn't need to come from the Earth. It just takes some people willing to make the effort and to put together the technology needed to get it to happen. If you have a few thousand or even a million people up there with you, there will certainly be plenty of places to go and you don't need to have cabin fever. The problem is trying to see who might be first to start such a place, but those are called pioneers for a very good reason. It sounds like you don't want to be a pioneer, so leave that job to somebody else.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213951)

The point of my post seemed to have been missed. Essentially what I meant was that living in a sterile, closed environment like what would be required on a lunar settlement would be the equivalent of being in a prison. I am "addicted" to being able to encounter a wide variety of life almost anywhere I go on this planet. I have developed a fascination with our world's biodiversity. In fact, after reading your response to my post, I had to step outside and just bask in the cool Northwest night air, taking in the scent of the wet grass, and pine, and other greenery, appreciating the screech of an owl off in the trees, and even the annoying yappings of the coyotes down by the creek.

Pulling up roots and moving from a living, thriving world like Earth and resettling permanently on a dead and sterile place like the Moon would drive me crazy. Sure, it would be cool to visit and work for a while there, but only for a few months at a time. That would be bearable, knowing that I would eventually come back here and reattune to nature. But to live up there permanently? No, I would not be able to do it.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211213)

Yes we should. There is no good reason whatsoever to ban commercial exploitation of the moon. If there are particular parts that make sense to keep pristine for future generations, then make lunar parks to preserve them. Preserving the moon in it's pristine form is only good if there are people their to appreciate it.

Profit making motives (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211577)

Think of what can motivate people, in the name of profit ---

There are things that we do not want on earth - NOT IN OUR BACKYARD, anyway - such as nuclear wastes.

If the commercial exploitation of the moon becomes a reality, who is to stop people offering services to pack nuclear / toxic waste into a rocket and shoot it towards the moon?

They don't even have to dug a hole on the moon - they can just crash that rocket into the moon and that's that.

Re:Profit making motives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42212235)

If the commercial exploitation of the moon becomes a reality, who is to stop people offering services to pack nuclear / toxic waste into a rocket and shoot it towards the moon?

A law that says not to? If you can stop commercial exploitation of the moon, you stop just the specific activities you don't want instead. If you can't make a law to stop them from dumping crap you don't want on the moon, you weren't going to stop them from doing commercial exploitation in general anyway.

Re:Profit making motives (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212485)

What is stopping people from launching nuclear waste and sending it to the Moon or to the Sun is simply that it would never be economical to do something that stupid. Honestly, sending nuclear waste to the Moon would be a very good thing to do, and nobody either here on the Earth or on the Moon would care. The waste stream from a terrestrial nuclear power plant could easily be thrown into a crater without any covering and nobody even near that crater would even care. There is no environment to destroy, there are no animals to worry about, and radiation from the Sun and from the rest of the Universe is enough to make that nuclear waste seem like a useful radiation shield rather than something to worry about from itself.

Seriously, this is about as stupid of a thing to worry about as concerning yourself about the radioactive fallout from coal-burning power plants (that actually put out more radioactive waste in a best-case situation than the worst-case situation of most nuclear power plants).

By saying this would ultimately be an economic issue, the costs associated with shipping radioactive waste to the Moon would be so expensive that nobody would try either. People are going to be building nuclear power plants on the Moon from Uranium found on the Moon well before anything is shipped from the Earth to the Moon is going to take place. It is far more likely that the Earth will be receiving the radioactive waste from these lunar fission reactors instead of the other way around.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (3, Insightful)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211339)

Commercializing the moon is another.

Should we allow such endeavor to proceed in the first place?

Of course we should. For two reasons.

1. Space exploration won't become more than the sideshow it is now until someone manages to monetize it. If we want real sustainable investment in space and space related technologies, we need someone to be making money off it somehow, otherwise various governments around the world will just continue to drop the ball. It could be from mining, or tourism, or something else, but industry needs to get involved.

2. I own all the real estate on moon (I bought it on eBay), so if anyone went there, they would have to lease the area they are using off my company - it's well past time for that investment to pay off for me.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211597)

Of course not. Worthless American capitalists, trying to export their values again.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (4, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211651)

Allow? We? Is this a socialist dictatorship or some shit? If WE aren't going to the moon, doing anything with it, exploring, mining or anything else with it, then how do WE have the right to stop an individual from doing all those things?

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

MangoCats (2757129) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212325)

how do WE have the right to stop an individual from doing all those things?

The same way that most remaining uninhabited islands in Florida are being blocked from development - arguments about the impact of development on the surrounding ecology, economy, etc.

If Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Bernard Arnault, Amancio Ortega, and Larry Ellison each decided to start their own space program, imagine the environmental and economic impact that would have. Sooner or later, government would step in with regulations, safety standards, certifications, inspections, permits, waiting lists, engineering studies, licensing fees, etc. to ensure that these huge endeavors don't wreak havoc on the interests that our elected officials protect.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212671)

The same way that most remaining uninhabited islands in Florida are being blocked from development - arguments about the impact of development on the surrounding ecology, economy, etc.

Most such islands are blocked by virtue of someone owning them who doesn't permit development.

If Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Bernard Arnault, Amancio Ortega, and Larry Ellison each decided to start their own space program, imagine the environmental and economic impact that would have. Sooner or later, government would step in with regulations, safety standards, certifications, inspections, permits, waiting lists, engineering studies, licensing fees, etc. to ensure that these huge endeavors don't wreak havoc on the interests that our elected officials protect.

What environmental and economic impact? And why isn't current regulation good enough?

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (3, Informative)

Kahlandad (1999936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211661)

We allow commercial exploitation of the Earth and we live here...

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211949)

Should we allow commercial exploitation of the moon?

Who is "we"? Unless you represent some group that owns the moon it's not your place to stop people from doing what they please there.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (2)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212359)

Should we allow commercial exploitation of the moon?

Sending astronauts there to discover new things, to take moon rock back to earth for research, to set up a moon-based telescope or something akin to that is one thing.

Commercializing the moon is another.

Should we allow such endeavor to proceed in the first place?

Why should we not be able to commercially exploit the resources of the Moon? That this question is even being asked sort of suggests that we aren't worthy of being a species worth saving. Yes, I'm serious.

Of any place in the Solar System that is worth gouging up and mining until it is unrecognizable, the Moon would be the place to do it and benefit not only mankind but the Earth itself as well. I would much rather have the face of the Moon become unrecognizable from its current view than to have mountain top mining and other incredibly disastrous terrestrial mining operations.

The Moon is huge anyway, so I highly doubt that we would be able to do more than a minor dent on the Moon. I say dig it up and pull everything of value off of the Moon and let people who want to go there have at it and do whatever they want! In time there will be a civilization on the Moon that can take care of itself and take stewardship of the Moon for those things that the people living on the Moon are concerned about. At the moment it is downright silly to sit on the Earth and hope that the Moon remains a sort of international peace park where people aren't really permitted to go except with special permission from some government agency.

For the money and effort it will take to go to the Moon, it will need to be something incredibly valuable for the venture to be worth the effort. Besides, anybody going to the Moon like Golden Spike Company is actually paving the way for us to go into the rest of the Solar System and to expand the reach of mankind in general through the universe. This is also an issue of raw freedom, as we as a species need an escape valve for people to go forward and try new ideas of culture, science, literature, and politics. Right now we are being strangulated as it were here on the Earth with what it turning into a monolithic culture and political system that eventually will collapse under its own weight.

We can't have mankind placing all of its eggs in one basket as it were, and going to the Moon to exploit it is a great way to make sure that doesn't happen. Mars or the asteroids may also be useful, but the Moon is a great part of that picture.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213081)

Some excellent points in your post.

The only regulations about protecting the Lunar environment should be to make sure nobody does something that will make it dangerous for people to visit the moon - leaving your nuclear reactor's spent fuel rods lying around, etc.

Some chemicals can be dangerous in small doses and it is possible for dust to go long distances on the moon.

You might also want to protect some areas of scientific and/or tourist interest. It would be nice to have some parts of the moon where you can go and think about Live, the Universe and Everthing without staring at mine dumps. I can see mine dumps where I live anytime.

But apart from this, I say dig it up!

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (2)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212715)

Should we allow such endeavor to proceed in the first place?

Who is this "we", kemo sabe? And what gives "us" the right to stop anyone from going to the moon?

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212731)

Should we allow commercial exploitation of the moon?

Absolutely! Because there is nothing better to do with the Moon. Not science, not military outposts, not international cooperation, not feelgood conservation of a sterile object.

Sending astronauts there to discover new things, to take moon rock back to earth for research, to set up a moon-based telescope or something akin to that is one thing.

A pretty low value thing since no has bothered to do anything about it for forty years.

Should we allow such endeavor to proceed in the first place?

My view is that unless you are doing something on the Moon, something happens that effects you directly, or someone is doing something that would be illegal no matter where it happened, you shouldn't have a say in what happens on the Moon.

For example, if you own property on the Moon (and you fulfill the conditions required from such ownership), then you should have a say in regulation of property. If someone does something, say putting up a giant logo, that you can see from Earth, then you should have a say. If someone kills a lot of people on the Moon, you should have a say.

But if you're whining because someone is changing a pristine, sterile environment you know nothing about nor shall ever see, then you should be kicked soundly out of the discussion.

Re:Commercial exploitation of the Moon (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212821)

What makes you think its up to us? We don't own it. If the Chinese want to commercialize it, they will, and won't ask us. Our best course of action is to commercialize it first.

Free McAfee (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42210929)

On bluelight.ru they respect 'im.
For his approach bypasses the septum.
Has the tan he would hide,
(Though he claims that he lied)
Nearly killed 'im? No, it just rectum.

Re:Free McAfee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211355)

What. The. Fuck?

Kudos to those pushing private space exploration (4, Insightful)

detain (687995) | about a year and a half ago | (#42210941)

I'm sure NASA would be going to the moon every month if they had all the funding they needed but sadly they no longer can. With that in mind I'm really glad that private companies are still pushing for space exploration and that governments aren't preventing them from doing so. I hope there are enough rich people interested in this to properly fund companies like this.

Re:Kudos to those pushing private space exploratio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211887)

What, precisely, is being "explored" here? I know the prevailing geek narrative is all about the romance of space "exploration" as per sci-fi, but the reality of it is that space is empty, deadly and strewn with a few barren rocks here and there. So what if a few rich people re-live the 1960s? People climb mountains privately and no one gets bent out of shape about that.

Re:Kudos to those pushing private space exploratio (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212783)

What, precisely, is being "explored" here?

Sounds like the Moon and whatever else we can get to. Which is actually quite a bit of stuff.

but the reality of it is that space is empty, deadly and strewn with a few barren rocks here and there

Which we can turn into vast pieces of civilization and infrastructure which beggar anything we have on Earth today.

One could make a similar claim about any undeveloped resource on Earth today. All those barren rocks have elements and chemicals that we use today and turn into all sorts of marvelous things. The energy from the Sun works just as well and in the same way as we use it on Earth.

And I think eventually the cost of space access will get cheap enough where such activities become economical and part of what we do.

Re:Kudos to those pushing private space exploratio (1)

caballew (2725281) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211951)

You'd better learn Mandarin. China is the only country properly investing enough money for the infrastructure to expand and explore space. I believe their plans might be more mature than Golden Spike Company.

Re:Kudos to those pushing private space exploratio (1)

murdocj (543661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212351)

Good lord, not the "omg the Chinese are better in space than us" line again.

The Chinese are slowly repeating what the USA and Russia did in the '60s. In the meantime, the USA has explored most of the solar system. Let me know when China has 2 probes entering interstellar space.

Re:Kudos to those pushing private space exploratio (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212527)

You'd better learn Mandarin. China is the only country properly investing enough money for the infrastructure to expand and explore space. I believe their plans might be more mature than Golden Spike Company.

{{Citation needed}}

Seriously. While China was saying they might be able to get to the Moon by the year 2030, they are going very slowly and not very well for that matter. The Chinese space program does not have the operational tempo needed to have a sustained presence on the Moon or anywhere else for that matter. They are doing some interesting things, no doubt, but the Chinese are hardly the nation to fear in terms of what is happening in space.

By far and away I'd call this plan [goldenspikecompany.com] to be far more detailed by people who actually have a clue about sending people to the Moon (some of them by having sent people to the Moon 40 years ago) than anything I've seen from the Chinese. Good luck with that, they'll need it.

Re:Kudos to those pushing private space exploratio (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213929)

Actually, my bet is that private space will go to the moon, but with NASA leading them. Just like NASA is leading private space to deliver private launch vehicles.
And it is not rich ppl that will pay for this. It will be nations. My bet is that Saudi Arabia, UAE, or Austalia will be on the first trip.

Re:Kudos to those pushing private space exploratio (1)

That_Dan_Guy (589967) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214397)

I don't get why everyone here thinks that some Rich adventure people are the target market for Golden Spike!

The target is any gov't that wants to do this, but doesn't want to spend all the money on the R&D to do the Rocket. Did anyone read any of the articles?!

Just think how annoyed the Chinese would be if the Japanese got to the Moon first, for a tiny fraction of the money they're spending? And I think the Japanese KNOW IT!

1.4 Billion is not private citizen money. It's Gov't size money. Maybe Huge corporation size money if they can figure a way to get an ROI.

All this talk about someone with a fortune the size of Bill Gate's going to the moon is loony. Getting countries to send some people up for the national prestige is the point. AND I'll bet the guys involved here are thinking that if they can get Japan and a few other countries to buy seats it'll get the US off it's duff and back into the business again of expanding Human Frontiers just the way NASA used to do back in the '60s.

Easier cooperative missions (3, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42210965)

I think the number of multi billionaires that would sign on is small but it's cheap for countries to get a seat on a Moon mission. Rather than spending tens of billions themselves they can for a fraction of that get one of their people a seat. It's one of the smallest clubs on the planet and so far they have all been US citizens. I can see Japan and as well as much of Europe being very excited about the prospect. For Russia it would be an afordable way to get there without committing to a massive program.

Re:Easier cooperative missions (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212157)

Would be more likely to be China IMHO

Re:Easier cooperative missions (1)

TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213927)

Wow, I hope that's not true.

I, for one, have absolutely no interest in funding a passenger ride for one of my countrymen for no reason other than to tick off a box.

Of course, if there's a high chance of them not coming back, I might reconsider.

Best of luck to them (3, Informative)

zill (1690130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42210975)

at an estimated price of $1.4 billion or more for two

According to Forbes [forbes.com] there are only around 1000 people on Earth with that kind of money.

Re:Best of luck to them (5, Funny)

SixAndFiftyThree (1020048) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211177)

... some of whom have several ex-wives they'd like to send far, far away.

Re:Best of luck to them (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212535)

... or have ex-wives they'd like to leave behind.

Re:Best of luck to them (1)

countach (534280) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212447)

And a smaller amount who would blow 1.4B on the exploit. Then the number left stupid enough to risk their lives on it, is roughy zero point zero.

Re:Best of luck to them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42212551)

Spend a fortune and get blown up in an amateur rocket. What fun. This is just a PR stunt. A smart company would send up several unmanned missions before declaring they will take humans. I doubt this company has sent a single rocket up to LEO.

Re:Best of luck to them (2)

Blackjax (98754) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212897)

First, the price is for two people, the price per seat is half that.

Second, they are not targeting wealthy people as the primary immediate market, they are targeting sovereign clients (i.e. foreign space agencies). (although granted there are real questions about the actual size of that market).

Third, that price isn't necessarily the price forever, just the price fairly early in their operations. Bringing the price down to continue capturing more market is in the plan. The more they do this, the more of the 'wealthy tourists' you seem to be implying are the primary market might actually enter the market.

Fifth, you can't really judge who would go solely by net worth. Look closely at how Richard Garriott and Guy Laliberte managed to afford going to the ISS despite not really being able to afford the price of their tickets at first glance.

And finally, if the business case closes with a couple of dozen people flying in total, then it doesn't matter if the market is tiny, you don't need a lot, you only need enough.

I am not saying you can count on this proposition panning out, but in looking at it there is no point in ignoring the details of the situation.

Re:Best of luck to them (1)

zill (1690130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212969)

First, the price is for two people, the price per seat is half that.

Next time the cab driver tells you the fare is $20, give him $5 and tell him that's the per seat price.

Re:Best of luck to them (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213823)

First, the price is for two people, the price per seat is half that.

Next time the cab driver tells you the fare is $20, give him $5 and tell him that's the per seat price.

I've been a cab driver, and if four people were riding in a cab where the fare was $20, I'd be glad to take that $5 from each person separately and even give change.

It really isn't a problem. If you are stupid enough to ride in a cab by yourself, you need to pay full fare, just as it would be in this situation with Golden Spike as well.

Re:Best of luck to them (1)

Blackjax (98754) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214267)

First, the price is for two people, the price per seat is half that.

Next time the cab driver tells you the fare is $20, give him $5 and tell him that's the per seat price.

I am not sure what your point is given that Golden Spike actually offers the ability to buy per seat rather than requiring you to purchase the whole mission.

You want to go to the moon? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211075)

Just use the portal gun.

Asdf (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211085)

a commercial space venture that aims to send paying passengers to the moon and back

Well, thank goodness for that. Wouldn't they be surprised to find out a billion dollars only got them a one-way ticket?

Re:Asdf (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211793)

This shit is not fucking funny. You're a moronic tool.

News flash! Attention whores whore for attention (3, Funny)

jfengel (409917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211131)

The secret sauce is their "team of nationally and internationally known experts in human and robotic spaceflight, planetary and lunar science, exploration, venture capital formation, and public outreach", who of course go without introduction (i.e. we haven't found them yet).

I'm particularly fond of their saying that they have "clearance from NASA". What the hell does that mean? Are they cleared for launch of an unnamed rocket from an undisclosed location? Hell no. It means that they said, "Hey, NASA, do you mind if we make bogus claims about going to the moon" and NASA said "Sure, knock yourselves out."

Re:News flash! Attention whores whore for attentio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42212439)

The secret sauce is their "team of nationally and internationally known experts in human and robotic spaceflight, planetary and lunar science, exploration, venture capital formation, and public outreach", who of course go without introduction (i.e. we haven't found them yet).

I'm particularly fond of their saying that they have "clearance from NASA". What the hell does that mean? Are they cleared for launch of an unnamed rocket from an undisclosed location? Hell no. It means that they said, "Hey, NASA, do you mind if we make bogus claims about going to the moon" and NASA said "Sure, knock yourselves out."

Their team in its entirely is comprised of previous Nasa scientists and engineers. They have clearance - because the national science advisor is on the CEO's fishing buddies list on his personal cell.

Time to save (1)

dark grep (766587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211257)

I expect something like a 30 year time from project start to launch. Which is good news - because it gives me time to save the $1,4bn. On the other hand, will septuagenarians be able to go?

13 posts and already /.ed (1)

phrostie (121428) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211333)

Service Temporarily Unavailable

The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
Apache Server at goldenspikecompany.com Port 80

Re:13 posts and already /.ed (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211745)

It's a godaddy web site. You know, the one for really small businesses.

FAIL.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211425)

Hmm.. sending private citizens for $750 million a person; or $1.5 billion for two.

I'm going to call FAIL on this one.

Although, it would be cool to see this happen. These rich billionaires with money burning a hole in their pockets, would be spearheading the technology needed to colonize the moon and solar system.

But the problem, is that they are not doing anything to lower the cost of space launches to make the exploration of outer space more affordable. They are just using existing technology, to send people there. And that is the reason why it fails.

And until some country or organization is ever able to truly reduce the cost of lifting something into space, then this is all just a fantasy.

At the cost of $750 million to send a 200 pound person into space, and all the life-support systems, this has no chance of succeeding long term. There is little point to profit from space industry at those rates.

So.. I'm going to call this a big fail.

I'm not going to hold my breath to see if they meet their 2020 deadline.

Re:FAIL.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42212279)

But the problem, is that they are not doing anything to lower the cost of space launches to make the exploration of outer space more affordable. They are just using existing technology, to send people there. And that is the reason why it fails.

Why wouldn't they be open to finding ways to reduce costs? Are they trying to accurately recreate historic moonshots? Otherwise, why wouldn't they try to maximize profits and look for ways to lower costs?

I'm not expecting the company to work business-wise though. Although they probably only need a very small number of customers to come out ahead in the end, so the small number of billionaires in the world might not be a problem.

Re:FAIL.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42212573)

Why go to the moon? All the hookers are here!!

Re:FAIL.. (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212819)

But the problem, is that they are not doing anything to lower the cost of space launches to make the exploration of outer space more affordable. They are just using existing technology, to send people there. And that is the reason why it fails.

New uses for existing technology does lower the cost of all that technology that gets used. Ever hear of "economies of scale"? Space technologies are an unusually fruitful target for the economy of scale coming from frequency of use in two primary ways -- more uses of the technology spread over the R&D costs and learning curve effects.

Derpy (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211435)

it's not clear when the first lunar flight would be launched

Never. That clear enough for you?

And now... OooooooooOOOOOO

"Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On a, Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me"

Re:Derpy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213969)

I just know you are channeling Vic Fontaine, STAR TREK IS DEAD, LONG LIVE STAR TREK.

History in the Making! (2)

SnappyCanvas (2769761) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211443)

If this is push through, that means, another history in the making!

Good name there, guys... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211543)

Is anyone else struck by the fact that people who are allegedly intending to deliver an economically feasible private-sector ride to the moon would choose a name alluding to the completion ceremony [wikipedia.org] for a massively government-sponsored(and deeply politicized and not a little corruption-plagued) infrastructure project?

Re:Good name there, guys... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212625)

It was also a massively private-sponsored activity. Why pay attention only to public funding? It's the "one drop" rule for economic activities -- "There was a fed in the woodpile."

Re:Good name there, guys... (1)

bogjobber (880402) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213057)

Not only are you crass, but you obviously have no idea what you're talking about. Between 1850 and 1871, the United States government *gave* the railroad companies more than 175 million acres of public land. That is over 10% of the entire land area of the United States! And even that figure underestimates the significance of that number, because in the West the value of land is largely dependent upon water rights (particularly back then) and the railroad companies more or less had monopolies on the water rights of huge portions of the western United States.

It's no coincidence that a large percentage of the richest men in the history of the world were American railroad men in the 19th century. It was the biggest governmental handout in the history of the world.

Re:Good name there, guys... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214305)

Before you blather about how valuable the handout was, consider how valuable the land was before the railroads existed. It wasn't much of a handout. It just appears big because of what the railroads did with the land.

Re:Good name there, guys... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213733)

It was also a massively private-sponsored activity

No, no it wasn't. It was overwhelmingly state-sponsored. And the land grants went far beyond what was required.

Re:Good name there, guys... (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214327)

No, no it wasn't. It was overwhelmingly state-sponsored. And the land grants went far beyond what was required.

No railroad businesses involved, no railroads. Funny how that works out. And how valuable was that land given the absence of railroads? There's a reason the feds were giving it away. They couldn't get rid of it in any other way.

Re:Good name there, guys... (1)

rmstar (114746) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214651)

No railroad businesses involved, no railroads. Funny how that works out. And how valuable was that land given the absence of railroads? There's a reason the feds were giving it away. They couldn't get rid of it in any other way.

It also just made a lot of sense. The government got a lot in return, by having the country prosper in a rather substantial way. And since the land was still in the same country, it cannot really be said to have been "given away".

Re:Good name there, guys... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212797)

I got it!! They'll employ slave Chinese engineers via H1B to work on the project!!!!

Re:Good name there, guys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213991)

Is anyone else struck by the fact that people who are allegedly intending to deliver an economically feasible private-sector ride to the moon would choose a name alluding to the completion ceremony [wikipedia.org] for a massively government-sponsored(and deeply politicized and not a little corruption-plagued) infrastructure project?

I was immediately stuck by this - I first saw "Golden Spike" and figured as much. I looked at the list of those who are heading the group. It is a group of ex-politicians and bureaucrats. I forsee this being a 'private contracted' moon mission by some government. 1.4 billion is a government number. This is going to be government funded, at some point (may it be as they funded railroads, or otherwise).

So many forget the government aspect of the railroad expansion and the hell it caused. Thanks for bringing this here. More need to read about this.

http://mises.org/daily/2522

Re:Good name there, guys... (1)

rmstar (114746) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214715)

http://mises.org/daily/2522

Ah, yes, an article from the paleoconservative "think" tank. Of course some minor detail of that part of history can be used, by ignoring everything else that happend, to claim that the whole idea was absurd. If anything, the article you linked to shows that you cannot trust private companies because they will commit fraud whenever they are not tightly regulated (in fact, it was the government that put an end to that particular fraud).

Without massive government intervention there will be no space age. Deal with it.

Whitey on the Moon! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42211687)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6EwNlWH7g4

Greatest Business Plan of All Time! (3, Funny)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42211723)

I can't believe how much press this got, for being so without substance.

Here is their business plan: They are going to take people to the moon. They are going to do it by buying a spaceship.

That's it.

Re:Greatest Business Plan of All Time! (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212599)

I can't believe how much press this got, for being so without substance.

Here is their business plan: They are going to take people to the moon. They are going to do it by buying a spaceship.

That's it.

It is a fair criticism here. I find it sad that they don't have any customers to show off, and that the hardware they are claiming that they are working on is all on power point presentations rather than something they can pull out and present at the press conference. At least Planetary Resources (the last company to make a big splash like this) had some Arkyd 100 satellites to show off to prospective customers on the day of their big public debut. They have just photoshopped Apollo 17 images.

The big thing they need to work on is coming up with a lunar lander. Supposedly they will be manufacturing some of the equipment "in conjunction with some partners", but I don't see anything concrete in regards to who is actually building that hardware.

I also noticed three huge names that were not "business partners" with Golden Spike:

* SpaceX
* Bigelow Aerospace
* Scaled Composites

Scaled was purchased by Northrop-Grumman, who is involved with United Launch Alliance, so there still might be some very loose connection there and ULA is one of Golden Spike's "business partners" on their official media kit. The reason I suggested these three companies though is that they have been the poster children of "new space" in terms of getting stuff into orbit or at least into space in an economical fashion. If these companies are not involved, I would really like to know who might be?

Re:Greatest Business Plan of All Time! (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213921)

"If these companies are not involved, I would really like to know who might be?"

Acme. Specifically the Giant Slingshot division, though there were rumors of rocket-propelled rollerskate technology coming soon.

Re:Greatest Business Plan of All Time! (1)

bogjobber (880402) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213071)

I like the $1.4 billion "or more" part. I think it might cost somewhere in the range of $1.4 to $50 billion dollars, depending on how many people they get to sign up.

Re:Greatest Business Plan of All Time! (1)

Hillgiant (916436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214513)

Buy rocket to the moon.
Buy airplane to the rocket.
Buy taxi to the airport.
Buy front door to the taxi.

(Yes. I know. The actual lyrics are "By ____ to the ___")

When I saw "golden spike"... (2)

pongo000 (97357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212033)

...I was transported back to my air traffic control days. There was a high performance aircraft called a Mooney 20 that was favored by doctors and lawyers with way too much money on their hands. The Mooney was a tricky aircraft to fly, lots of airplane to handle for the uninitiated. Mooney pilots in crisis were the worst pilots to deal with due to their relative lack of inexperience. The running joke was that each Mooney came equipped with a "golden spike" mounted on the door, impaling unsuspecting pilots in the head and rendering them stupid.

Needless to say, a company called "Golden Spike" would not be a company I'd prefer to take me to the moon and back.

 

How to find gold on the moon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42212051)

This could be the start of a good long-term money-maker for Golden Spike and/or Russia or Europe.

Really the only safe place for the hot nuke detritus of Chernyoble (the sarcophagus is now at the end of its design life), and the nuke waste accumulating for a half-century in Japan, USA and France would be on the moon where the GRAIL project has found many of the likely caves, caverns, craters and voids just recently.

Expeditions to store this really dangerous stuff could take most of a century and really start serious space exploration and scientific research, and solve a pressing problem at the same time. For example, the needed research into radiation-resistant robotics could start a new boom, and the be foundation of a new industry.

Launches from Florida or California would be too risky, but launches from the new VOSTOCHNY cosmodrome in NW Siberia being built right now, or Korou French Guiana, would probably work. Both places are next to vast stretches of uncrowded ocean. The USA high-tech sector could benefit greatly, if they act sensible and cooperate with the Russians and Europeans, and private concerns like Golden Spike. If they are too dumb inside the beltway, let the Russians, Europeans, and Golden Spike get the gold.

Laugh... (1)

koan (80826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212173)

They are in dire need of name change as it reminds me of what a burning vehicle would look like on re-entry.

The Nay-Sayer (1)

neoshroom (324937) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212207)

But John Pike, a longtime expert on space policy who heads GlobalSecurity.org, said he was "deeply skeptical" about Golden Spike's business plan. "If you could do it this cheap, somebody would have already done it," he told me.

Talk about a bad argument. Nothing that was expensive can ever be done more cheaply, because if it could it would already be done. It's like saying in the late 90's "I am deeply skeptical about Intel's business plan. If you could make 386-level processors cheap, someone would have already done it."

Some companies are the first to do things.

__

How to Become a Millionaire (2)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year and a half ago | (#42212417)

Start with billions of dollars, establish a private spaceflight company offering rides to bored rich people and shut it all down before you're bankrupt.

Re:How to Become a Millionaire (1)

TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214019)

Cool, then I can afford a flight with Golden Spike!

what of Elon Musk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42212817)

I cannot believe Elon Musk with his incredible knack for pushing out taxpayer funded, over-priced, under-performing losers is not in on this one as well.

The moon needs a golf course (1)

pgdave (1774092) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213637)

Donald Trump should be the first passenger. He could then build the golf course of his dreams where nobody would object. Alan Shephard already started the ball rolling, so to speak. . No more plebs in the view from his multi-billion hotel. Win-win for Earth and Moon. His wig could be the Moon's first native wildlife.

private moon flights != private CITIZEN (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213953)

Far too many ppl here have this wrong. It will NOT be private citizens that fund this. Instead, it will almost certainly be multiple nations that will be amongst the first few groups. My guess is that NASA will go. I am also guessing that Saudi Arabia, UAE, and perhaps Australia will be part of the first few groups.

And for those of you thinking that this will never happen, I will also get that we will see this by 2020, unless the republicans manage to gut NASA's work with private space. So far, O has kept that mostly on track, but no doubt it, the republicans HAVE managed to hurt the effort.

Bernie, the bolt ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214405)

It's the Golden Moon Shot!

" at an estimated price of $1.4 billion or more" (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214697)

let me just check my couch cousins for that. so that narrows it down to what....100 people that could possibly afford the trip? people that actually have that much cash on hand are few and far between. I see a flaw in this business model.

Disturbing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214731)

So the rich want to rob all your money so it can be put to work on projects that use up the resources of the earth for no gain. I'd have more respect for them if they wanted to escape from the earth and live on the moon.

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