Former NASA execs to start selling moon tickets for $1.5 billion

Contributed by
Jan 14, 2013, 2:52 PM EST

Wannabe astronauts, the time has finally come—someone is about to start selling tickets to the moon. But what will it cost? Not surprisingly, a whole lot.

Some former NASA executives are launching a private spacefaring company called Golden Spike Co. with plans to sell tickets to the moon at a cost of $1.5 billion for two tickets.

But instead of targeting rich private citizens, as several other private aerospace firms have done, Golden Spike hopes to sell seats to other countries wanting to expand into the stars. The idea is to provide an affordable (or more affordable than starting a space program) option for countries wanting to do research and explore.

Of course, they'd probably take up anybody willing to pay that much for a ticket regardless.

Golden Spike's president, former NASA administrator Alan Stern, said they hope the niche will prove successful as NASA opens up the field to more independent firms, combined with "the sex appeal of flying your own astronauts."

He told the Associated Press:

"It's not about being first. It's about joining the club. We're kind of cleaning up what NASA did in the 1960s. We're going to make a commodity of it in the 2020s."
The company plans to buy existing rockets to make the trips, but hopes to develop its own space suits and lunar module. Stern says they hope to have a first mission within the next eight years, with regular flights rolling out in the 2020s.

Sadly, considering the technological challenges and steep ticket prices, some in the spacefaring community say it'll be surprising if Golden Spike ever gets off the ground—mostly because of that steep entry fee. But here's hoping.

In the meantime, I think I'm going to need a bigger piggy bank.

What do you think? Is a trip to the moon worth $1.5 billion?

(Via Associated Press)