Private firm plans “affordable” lunar mission for $1.8 billion
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Colorado start-up run by former NASA managers plans to conduct missions to the moon for about US$1.5 billion (S$1.8 billion) per expedition, a fraction of what a similar government-run operation would cost, company officials said on Thursday.
“Our vision is to create a reliable and affordable U.S.-based commercial human lunar transportation system,” said former Apollo flight director Gerry Griffin, 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.
Depending on how many customers sign up, the company said it could be ready to fly its first mission by 2020. It did not elaborate on any existing or pending contracts with customers or suppliers.