Former NASA executives unveiled "The Golden Spike Company," which plans to send manned spaceflights to the moon by 2020, offering private expeditions to governments and private stakeholders for $1.4 billion per flight.
Announced at the National Press Club, former Apollo Flight Director and NASA Johnson Space Center Director, Gerry Griffin, and planetary scientist and former NASA science chief, Dr. Alan Stern detailed their intentions to make complete lunar surface expeditions available by the end of the decade. They will do this by maximizing use of existing rockets and emerging commercial-crew spacecraft, dramatically lowering costs of moon exploration. However, the price still stands at nearly one-and-a-half billion, so when we say 'dramatically lower,' just take it in a context that the average space mission costs upwards of $5 billion.
Golden Spike expects its customers will want to explore the Moon for varying reasons—scientific exploration and discovery, national prestige, commercial development, marketing, entertainment, and even personal achievement. Market studies by the company show the possibility of 15-20 expeditions in the decade following a first landing.
“We could not be able to do this without the many breakthroughs NASA made in inventing Apollo, the Shuttle, the International Space Station, and its recent efforts to foster commercial spaceflight,” said Golden Spike Board chairman Gerry Griffin. “Building on those achievements, The Golden Spike Company is ready to enable a global wave of explorers to the lunar frontier.”
This maybe significantly out of our price range, as it would be for the vast majority of the planet; but we're looking forward to this being a beginning of commercialising lunar travel. Moon base?